6:30 a.m. is wakey wakey at camel camp. It was different being on the camper end of things after so many years as camp staff. They wanted us up dark and early for brekkie - bread and coffee or tea - so we could see the sunrise and get back to the minibus for the ten hour journey home.
The staff were quite efficient at rounding up people and beasts. They have lots of experience in the desert. Heard our guide last night say he was born and grew up on the Sahara, part of a nomad family. Now he's working at camp with plug ins for cell phones.
Remember how yesterday I said we were coping with the long journey because we were so excited to get to the camels? Today there were no camels at the end to entice us. It was a loooong day.
There was a good break at Ksar Ai't Benhaddou, a Berber castle,followed by a delicious lunch. This was the umpteenth Unesco World Heritage Site we visited, all very impressive. C says pretty soon it will be a Unesco World Heritage World.
The castle has been used in many films and the townspeople do well as extras.
Our guide showed us the adobe bricks used in construction, made of dung, earth and straw. It looks so fragile, like a good rain could wash it away. He said that families spend lots of time doing maintenance.
It seems many families rely upon donkeys to transport goods to market and we saw them in action both in the city and the rural areas.
We arrived back in Marrakech at 7:00 p.m., passing a nice restaurant on our way back to the riad. Looking up the reviews for I Limoni and many said that the Italian alternatives were a nice break from tagine and that their Sahari wine was excellent. Having had one tagine or another each day, as well as no wine, we gave it a try.
So off we went, going in the wrong direction. Combine a long exhausting day with being hungry, then throw in persistent locals trying to garner our business as unofficial guides, not that they knew where the restaurant was, but to take us to their "brothers, mothers, relatives'" restaurants. Not really relatives at all, but they see a tipping opportunity from us and a kickback from the other end for guiding us to their business.This part could have had a bad ending as C was rude to a local young man. They made up in the end, but we think there were repercussions, which I'll write about tomorrow.
We returned to the riad agreeing to a do over using Google Maps. Do overs are wonderful marriage savers in times of stress.
Five minutes later we were in a pleasant garden like courtyard dining room with high canvas panels as a ceiling. We shared a salad of butter lettuce and apples with honey. I had eggplant Parmesan and C chose a sesame crusted chicken breast with vermouth glaze. The local wine was unexpectedly good.
Tomorrow will be our shopping day and highly educational experience.