Days: 468 (6 October 2015)
Total distance travelled: 124,443.5 kilometres (77,294.07 miles)
Another day of travel, punctuated by another lunch stop, at yet another overpriced tourist restaurant…
Fortunately the heat was out in force, reducing our appetites somewhat, so we instead took the time to wander, ice-creams enough to tide us over as we instead strolled around what was actually quite an interesting town.
Interesting sure, but did we know its name, no chance!
We soon found ourselves down narrow streets, high mud walls leaving us in the much cooler shelter of the shade, but in the middle of the day, few people seemed about.
It’s a little voyeuristic, the habit we’ve developed of peering through windows and doors in an attempt to see how the people in these far away lands live, but our curiosity could not be quashed, so peer away we did.
We even managed to stumble upon the means and freshly completed job of wall repair, although the workers were strangely absent, possibly forewarned that there were some snooping foreigners on the loose!
By the time we emerged from the warren to rejoin our group, would also acquired almost half a dozen new cotton scarves from a very happy local vendor…
It became one of those days where we were seemingly on the road for the whole of it, but by mid afternoon we were pulled to the kerb, ready to hit up our best photo opportunity of the day.
We were by now, almost at Ait Ben-Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site, also a ridiculously popular location for use in Hollwood (and other) films.
It’s an impressive list of films, some more notable ones including Gladiator (hence my corny quote for a post headline), Lawrence of Arabia, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Jewel of the Nile, Game of Thrones, and not surprisingly, a host of biblical ‘epics’.
So this was what all the fuss was about.
We took a handful of snaps, before we were ferried to our waiting hotel to get settled into our rooms, the plan being that we’d all wander over towards the site as the evening got a little closer to sunset.
As such, by the time we crossed the river that separated it from the newer town, the shadows were long and the sky a pretty orange.
The ksar of Ait Ben-Haddou, the famous mud city/town that hugs the hillside we were now exploring was fascinating, although as the sun was fast descending from the sky, we were given little time to appreciate it, as we raced to the top.
At least the views below weren’t bad at all!
With our group now stretched out over the various points of the stone stairway the lead steadily upwards, today was not one where we stopped to wait for others to catch up, lest we miss the promised sunset.
As a result, there was indeed sun still to be seen, as made the summit, a Uruguayan couple (obvious with their mate) our only initial company, as well as the lone structure that sat atop the rise.
We pulled up a perch… well okay, so we sat, or stood, and waited for the sun to end another Moroccan day, and one of only a few we had left as part of this tour group.
We’d soon be leaving the desert behind, as ahead lay a couple of days on Morocco’s Atlantic coast.
* Our flights from London Gatwick to Marrakesh (via Casablanca) with Royal Air Maroc cost us £88.09 per person.
* Our 15 night Morocco tour was booked through On-the-go travel, and costs per person vary depending on the season.