Can anyone guess what this is?
On my last trip to Marrakesh I finally made it out to the Atlas mountains, or the foothills at least. To make this even more interesting we traveled through the foothills of the Atlas mountains on camels. It was definitely an exciting experience with camels going rogue to eat cactus, refusing to walk in the mud, and one even falling down with one of my colleagues perched precariously on top.
Once we survived this adventure, we were on our way back to Marrakesh when our guide pulled the car over so we could see this small Berber village in the Asni valley.
Wandering through the market in Marrakesh we came across two guys in a shop taking turns working on a bow lathe. It is operated by using one hand to draw the bow back and forth, spinning the wood. And then a hand and a foot were used to carefully move the gouge to carve out intricate little designs. It was mesmerizing and I stood and watched for a while. I’ve taken two photos so you can see a close up of how it works.
I had a great time in Marrakesh last weekend, including a camel ride in the foothills of the Atlas mountains and a return to the food tour I went on two years ago. The picture below is actually from that tour two years ago. Unfortunately, the bakery was closed this time.
What you see below is the local oven where bread is baked. The locals don’t have ovens in their own homes. Instead, they prepare their meals for the oven and drop them at the bakery. While we were there we saw all sorts going in, most of all rows of sardines. The oven is effectively a huge clay room where wood is burned on one side. The operator spends the whole time in that small space in front of the oven entrance, being handed items to place in the oven.
This is the last of my photos from sub Saharan Africa. I’d like to say that I stalked this fellow in the wild to get up good and close before taking this picture, but that’s not the case. I was on a walking tour with two lions. Shortly before arriving we were told that they were on the verge of being too old to walk with people as they were reaching maturity and would become aggressive. They were going to be released into the wild in an effort to repopulate the area at the end of the season.
I’m on my way back to Marrakech for a quick two night stop before attending meetings in London. We’re making a return to the beautiful Palais Sebban so I thought it was fitting to post a photo of the riad. This trip I’ll be taking some friends on the same amazing food tour we went on last time as well as making a quick morning trip to go camel trekking in the foothills of the Atlas mountains. It involves two hours on the back of a camel, which should be interesting. I’ve wanted to do a multi-day trip through the desert by camel for a while now. This will be a good test of my willingness to spend extended periods of time on top of a camel.