We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mrs. BD and I traveled from the port of Agadir up into the Atlas Mountains, took a 6-hour mountain hike, had a very late lunch/early supper, then headed back to port to sail out into the Atlantic towards the Canary Islands at dusk. That's what I call a full day.
People say we're adventurous, but we just want to live life abundantly, with variety.
The kasbah that Mrs. BD discovered, in the mountains (those are all Argan trees):
More photo travelogue below the fold - lots of interesting photos for those who have never been in the Atlas Mountains -
Most of the city of Agadir is new, due to earthquakes. It is a busy port
Some of the old city remains
The city is growing fast and not in a beautiful way
Early morning drive out to the mountains with a pleasant Berber cabbie (southern Morocco is all Berber - very few Arabs and no black Africans). Signs are in Arabic, French, and the crazy-looking Berber script.
We met our guide at the kasbah, and headed into the mountains where the paved road ended.
Had to pass through a Berber hamlet along the way. We met the schoolteacher. Mrs. BD and I were the first Americans in that tiny, ramshackle village and that seemed like a big deal. The Berber people have good feelings about America and, unlike Muslims, love their dogs.
A wadi. Lots of snakes, supposedly, but unfortunately we saw none.
Up in the mountains
The trails are donkey and wild camel paths
Saw some of the wild ancestors of our domesticated tulips and daffodils
We had a Berber mint tea "ceremony" on top of a mountain in the shade of an Argan tree. His wife had made Berber cookie-like things for us. Delightful, with vast views. That's where we saw the wild dromedaries.
Then we hiked back over hill and dale back to the kasbah. Shoes off!
They had prepared a lovely Moroccan late lunch for just me and the Mrs.: tomato, olive, and parsley salad with Argan oil:
Moroccan chicken stew (talk about free-range flavor. Great, like a game bird)
And the usual Moroccan dessert which you have to pretend to appreciate. Damn good coffee, though. Maybe the best I ever had.
Afterwards, the kasbah had arranged a cab to pick us up and take us back to our boat. Golly, they were wonderful at that place, despite minimal English. Come to think of it, the chef/waiter had some ok English, but French is the lingua franca there.
Back "home" just in time for "All Aboard", and headed out to sea. Miller Time.
I hope you got a chance to visit the market in market in Marrakech. It's quite well known and simply amazing. The further into it you go, it's like stepping back in time. I haven't been there in 30 years, but hopefully it hasn't changed too much. Just avoid walking in as a pack of tourists. As you may have learned, haggling is an art, (and half the fun) and the Morroccans love to do it. In fact they get a bit insulted if you don't.
Karl Horst (Germany)
Wishing you and yours safe travels! Looking forward to more of your blog, as I am very interested to see the American's point of view, especially on Europe.
We have noticed during the recent asylum issue, much has been incorrectly publicized in our own press. It's unfortunate to see it duplicated by the US media who obviously don't do any research, and simply reprint bad or misleading information.