Boutaghrar to Kelaat Mgouna
Taxi to Boumalne (Dades)
Morrocan travel day. All day to go 50km! (less if you walked, but I suppose it would take even longer!)
The first part was easy. We said our goodbyes and walked down to the road. Sat in the sun and waited for a minibus to go past. Flagging it down we loaded our bags on the roof and climbed in.
Boutaghrar is a beautiful little town, in a very pretty area, so it was a bit sad to be leaving it, but we have to move on…
The women here in the mountains have black lace wrapped around the shoulders and hanging down covering what they are wearing. This could be traditional garb, or even pink pajamas. It does not seem to matter what they have on if they have the lace on top. Working in the fields they still wear the lace.
The trip the rest of the way down the rose valley was as visually stunning as the way up. It would be a lot of fun to take your time and walk the entire way down. Especially in April / May (apparently when the roses are blooming). Apparently you can even kayak down at times.
Back at Kelaat Mgouna, we walked around the main section of town a bit, looking for a minibus or taxi to take us to Boumalne and the Dades gorge. There really isn’t that much here. Rose products are everywhere, then just normal town life. However we ran into the teacher Ahmed again. This was good. He asked us if we had liked the trip up into the mountain, and what we had done. Over cups of tea we talked about it, and women’s liberation in Morocco. It was very interesting, especially his views of government fuel price fixing to keep people poor. As usual this takes a couple of hours, but as his English is good, we don’t mind, and sit back enjoying the conversation.
When we say that we need to get going, he escorts us to the taxi, which in some miracle, is ready to leave immediately! We clamber into the back seat, thanking anyone that will listen that these taxies have three sets of chairs. We are in the very back, and it is only the two of us. Comfort! We get the views along the road, and are not squashed in.
On arriving at Boumalne we head to the nearest hotel. We have a few things in mind for here. Wifi and hot showers. There is hot water, but no wifi. This isnt a problem as there is an internet cafe next door we can use. Done. On walking back down we run into the Belgium lady from Boutaghrar again. Sitting outside in the sun drinking tea, and swapping stories. She is well traveled, and been to Morocco a few times. (And not fallen off anything!) However we cannot spend all our time drinking tea.
As it is getting late by now, we head out for a look around town. Boumalne is quite large, and there are several different sections to the town. There is a proper river running through the valley, and several hills, all of which are being built on. We are in the central section. Basically down town. A few roads lead off into different directions, and most are even bitumen. All the shops are open, and the markets are winding down for the day. We notice again all the different signs out.
A lot of people in Morocco still cannot read or write, so the shop signs have paintings to let you know what they are. Furniture shops have big pictures of beds or table settings. Chicken shops have pictures of live and plucked chickens. Butchers just hang out the head of todays specialty.
Then we came across this one. We are not sure about it. Fuel up your car while talking on the mobile? Too busy talking on the mobile to realise you are going to douse yourself with petrol? So sick of mobiles you want to kill yourself? Or get your mobile recharge here?