Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

the best tajine that I had in Morocco at a roadside restaurant...

OK, but don't rock it too hard. It is made out of...




lunch stop for the bus

what do you want?

crossing the mountains

the boys are ducking because the bus is full beyond the legal...




our guide learned English from talking to tourists

inside of the kashba






braving the river


this is pouring suppose to be done


Although we liked Marrakesh, after 2 days it was time to move on so we packed up and headed to the bus station. We planned to go further south to a town called Ouarzazate from where we would back track and get to a village near a big Kasbah called Ait Benhaddou which is famous because although there are still about 100 people who live in it, it was also used for scenes in the Gladiator and some older movies, too. It also afforded me my first (and by no means the last) opportunity to sing "Rockin' the Kasbah" which Charlie had never heard before but he became very familiar with it by the end of the trip.

But I'm getting ahead of myself because we first had to get the bus from Marrakesh which turned out to be the usual swarming of 10 guys who may or not be employed by the bus company giving all sorts of answers about when the bus leaves, etc. We finally got on the bus after fighting with one of these guys about how much money we had to pay for our backpacks to be put under the bus. We then waited as they hauled up stuff to the top of the bus, including a refrigerator and a motor bike. This was not CTM but a privately owned company which means the bus was nasty, no AC, and filled to overflowing. We had seats but the aisle was full of standing passengers [who had to duck every time there was a policeman around because it is illegal to carry standing passengers- Charlie] and this was a 4 hour ride. It was also a windy, bumpy ride through the Atlas Mountains. So windy, in fact, that they were passing out plastic bags to people in case of sickness. Which was a good thing because I heard at least one being used. Halfway through the bus made its obligatory stop for an hour for a lunch break. There was also an English couple on the bus headed to the same Kasbah and they and Charlie got the bus to stop before Ouarzazate so we didn't have to backtrack so much. We found a cute hotel and went to the Kasbah which was very picturesque. It's easy to see why it's popular movie scenery. A nice kid from the village guided us around (for a tip, of course, but he deserved a tip since he had learned English from talking to tourists since they teach Arabic and French in school). After touring the Kasbah we tried to find a place for dinner and finally found a little place where a Canadian family was eating. They recommended the food, which took over an hour after we ordered, so we had plenty of time to chat with them. After talking to them (the girl and her husband lived in Morocco so they knew a lot about it) [she said that because of the growing un popularity of the US on account of president Bush she often claims to be Australian because Canada is too close and that might fall into the bad by association category- Charlie] we changed our plans a little and instead of going to Zagora, decided to stop in a town called Tenerhir on the way to the big sand dunes in the south east corner of the country.

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