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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Desert Trip Day 2 - Gorges

After the first day (which was a bit of a disappointment as we noted), things definitely started looking up. On day two, we left Ouarzazate after briefly viewing Kasbah Taoirirt and Kasbah Amerdil. We drove through Vallee des Roses, where EVERYTHING is made with rose extract...when we stopped for tea, the guy in the shop sprayed both of us with rose water. Then we drove through the Dades Valley to see both Torda Gorge and Dades Gorge, which were incredibly beautiful. It looked like the rock climbing would be amazing, but our driver, Brahim, told us that there are a lot of accidents involving tourists and rock climbing since the walls are not well-maintained.

We went to Torda Gorge around lunchtime and it was definitely crawling with tourists and locals alike. Brahim told us that a lot of locals will spend the day there since it is much cooler than the surrounding areas and there is a little stream to splash in. I may sound like a germ-phobe, but I shudder to think of the fecal coliform content of that stream. Dades Gorge at sunset was also spectacular.

We spent that evening in a small, family-run guest house. Dinner was simple, but all homemade and completely delicious. We started out with harira (Moroccan soup) and then had a chicken and vegetable couscous. Our waiter (one of the sons) told us that even the couscous itself was handrolled. The couscous was light and fluffy, the vegetables tasted really fresh were surprisingly not overcooked, and the chicken was tender and awesome. Fresh fruit followed for dessert. We've now been in Morocco for ten days and that is still my favorite meal so far.

By the way, we'd almost forgotten it was the fourth of July! The weirdest (and maybe saddest) part of it was that we thought back on it and couldn't even remember when the last time was that we celebrated without a beer (or 17). Berbers don't drink. :)

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