Sep 15:  At Ben Haddou to Armed (High Atlas Mountains)


Up 7am.  Hung over.  First hotel that I didn't take the soap from because it produced poor lather.  Left 8am.

Stopped here 9:20am.  Altitude is in meters.

Also stopped here 9:35am.  We drove/were about to drive on that road.

Stopped at a rest stop at 10am.  The other group is here too.  Why can't Faye learn to move on?

At 11:40am we stopped at a huge outdoor market.  Lots of fruit was bought.

Lunch 12:25pm-1:50pm at Imouzzer.  The menu said complexe and caf and restaurant and hotel and I don't know which of those words are legally part of the restaurant's name.  Had a brochette (skewer/kabob) mixte (multiple meats) and a Fanta.  I'd just finished my flat Coke on the minivan.  Don't want Coke right now.

Some of my tourmates make excessive use of their hands when talking.  Especially when talking to someone with a language/accent barrier.  Like they might say "cat" and when the other person doesn't get it they hold their hand 4 inches above the ground and repeat "cat" to remove all doubt as to its meaning.  You know, instead of providing an actual helpful clue like meowing or acting aloof.  In conclusion, you're all shitty at pantomime.  Knock it off.

"You look so cute when you are sleeping."  Thanks!  You're very perceptive.

Arrived 2:55pm at Imlil.  Our gte (damn, my Character Map is getting a workout here) in Armed/Amred/Aroumd was an hour's walk up into the mountains, and the itinerary said mules would carry our big bags as we walked.  Change of plans because we'd be sharing the gte with another group (not the one from the last couple days) and I guess the full pack of mules couldn't handle two treks up.  So we had to take essentials out of our big bags and transfer them to little bags and give those to a split squad of 3 mules.

Walked 1 hr up the hill to the gte  in Armed, which is also Abdoul's village.  Good workout.  Our accomodations are sparse.  Five rooms for 14 people, so I don't get my own shagpad tonight.  Sharing with Percy and Noel.  No Wi-Fi apparently, but a huge bowl of popcorn and cold Coke from the fridge downstairs.

Abdoul made Sophia wear a long skirt over her short shorts in deference to local sensitivities.  I would have deleted this note, but Sophia saw it in my phone, so now it's notable enough to include.

At 5:00pm we walked up a little further to Abdoul's house.  This is a cool bonus.  Very nice house.

In that room to the right we met Abdoul's grandmom and his brother (who's 39 but looks way older...not as horrific as a typical American woman at that age, but still old) and his bro's 3 kids.  Abdoul doesn't know where his mom is.  She's normally here.  We had fresh fluffy oily bread and mint tea.

Moroccan fathers typically retire at around 50 years old.  Sophia pointed out that I'm 5 years away (i.e. I'm extremely old).  Thank you, thanks a lot.  I actually retired at 44, so there.

From Abdoul's terrace.

Other direction.

The Terrace.

Back to the gte 7pm.  Refreshing rain.  Had dinner.  Couscous.  8th on my list of 8 things.  Done.  The common bowl of couscous contained a preposterous amount of couscous.  Like 3-4 times as much as was reasonable for a group of our size.  I'm sure the leftovers get distributed in the village the next day, but it seemed so wasteful.  We noticed this at other eateries along the tour.

Played the celebrity name game after dinner.  Where the last initial becomes the first initial of the next name.  This was easier to do with older people than in Copenhagen in 2004.  But once again, no one recognized Carl "The Truth" Williams as a celebrity.  And when I got B I went with Bruce McCullogh, and the Canadians didn't know the name.  He's a national hero!  He's the Bret Hart of comedy.  Mark McKinney is the Owen and Lorne Michaels is the Stu.  Scott Thompson is the Diana.  I drank some vodka.  Game ended 9:45pm when Jonathan turned the game's first Y into Yves Saint Laurent.

Too early for bed, so I stayed in the "dining" room and had more vodka.  Percy hung out too, reading, but took a shower break and finally left at 10:50pm.  I saved the life of a fly who fell into my vodka!

Bed 11:45pm.  ~10 vodka equivalents for the night.  Sophia followed through with her plan to sleep on the patio.  One of the guys in my room was snoring, but I put in earplugs and the window was open so the sound of the howling wind helped.  Snoring stopped soon anyway.


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