Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

What can I say, I’m 50 and feel much younger. I love photography although not obsessed, and I try to take life not too seriously : )

Part 8 - A good son

Suddenly there was no noise, well I couldn’t say that to start with I just knew I had woken up for a reason. The air conditioning wafting a pleasant stroke against me had stopped and it was silent. A walk to the darkened bathroom revealed that the lights did not work either. It was morning so I was not that worried and as we had to meet our 4×4 driver soon we arose from the thin traditional coverlet and headed off for breakfast.
The room was large, it was obvious from photos on the wall that they do get huge groups coming here on motorbike pilgrimages, testing their machines and themselves, however today it was us, us alone. The lonely jug of juice signalled where we were to sit. However then we were in for a treat. The loveliest of paratha styled bread was delivered to which we could add syrup or jams, dried meats to eat and my ever present fix of tea.

Looking out from the dark cool interior a startling white body of metal was parked waiting for us. Inside the blue turbaned man introduced himself and we headed off for all of half a mile. The man, who was a good son, stopped to bring his mother provisions. However she did not live within a brick building but a Berber style tent. The dark horse blanket type fabric made up the bulk of the tent with poles arising at various heights to produce the typical staggered look of these tents. The creaking backed mother invited us in, so leaving our shoes we wiggled ourselves backwards through the low entrance to find a exotic magical mix of folded carpets and coverlets creating colour, a vertical loom and all the necessities of life. Invited for tea again we would have wished to stay however we had plans to keep to and off we set.

At no point did our driver seem to wish to follow a road, following no markings we could make out he bounced his way over the sandy hardened land. The journey was not straight forward however, due to the first rains the night before. Only we could come to a desert and face the first rains for sometime, at another time and another place we had been involved in a national emergency due to rains.

Our stops during the day were to be cultural, a visit to a palace – delightful with beautiful intricate carvings carved as a memory into my mind, a Berber collection house – selling the most beautiful of story described carpets, detailed silverware and astonishing wares, completing the first part of the day at what was described as the most Arabic of markets. Dates were around everywhere, even if this was only the first part of the season, graded and waiting for an offer. The covered market was claustrophobic with men; men sitting and talking, talking and sitting! Smells, dried herbs attracted me. The stall had baskets overflowing with insipid coloured leaves however the smell was divine; amber was rubbed into my skin, dried flowers wafted under my nose exciting my senses. Couscous herbs were bought however on reflection over exposure to couscous this holiday would inevitable mean they would soon be in the bin. This market led quickly into the walled courtyard of the animal market where small sty’s held goats for sale, the colours of white, black and rich browns replacing the colours at the food market and the smell of farmyard replaced that of the herbs.

We returned to the Kasbah to rest however the swimming pool had been uncovered and my overheated body yearned for a dip. The delights of a cool swim cannot be emphasised enough and we were soon ready for the evening. Another bouncing journey over rocky and barren land launched us into a musical interlude as we waited for sunset. The musicians within the Black village played their drums and cymbals whirling their tunics until the sun began to make their shadows appear almost not part of anything human, being so long. We tipped generously and headed finally to the climax of the day.

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