Having tea with the Cheikh
Trip Start May 01, 2001
44Trip End Jun 30, 2001
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6 hours, 7 kms
So after a short wait, I head out on foot. I figure most likely the guy will eventually get a couple of passengers and catch up with me.
I quickly come upon my first village, Taghela. It's one of those lovely typical villages that practically melt into the mountainside. The clusters of red earth homes look like they were meant to be there.
Usually when I see a town in a beautiful landscape, it looks like a scar, like an unnatural intrusion messing up the quiet beauty of nature
I pass an older fellow who greets me and starts talking to me in French. He seems like an educated, interesting fellow, so when he invites me in for tea, I accept. We turn off the main road—straight towards a castle!
It turns out this fellow is the brother of the Qadi (chief) of the village and their family still own the castle. It’s a very solid looking fort, that proudly overlooks the valley. Yet inside, the house is quite simple very modestly furnished.
The fellow actually lives in Casablanca—he owns a café there and is just here on holidays... Over tea and bread and olive oil, he tells me a bit about the history and the conditions of the village.
Just think, if I hadn’t been so stingy and opted to walk, I would’ve missed the opportunity to drink tea in the castle of the chief of Taghela..
I continue on a bit farther, past a few other clusters of villages... a vast open space that must be the weekly market spot... past village ladies riding to and from home on donkeyback... past little schools bursting with children.
But I’ve got a problem—the spare batteries I brought for my camera turn out to be all counterfeit duds... I barely manage to make my video clip of Taghela... I opt not to parkbench any more villages—because if I do, and don’t take the video clip, I’ll feel obligated to come back... and I really want to be able to say that I’ve finished this region...
Finally, after another hour or two of beautiful scenery, a taxi comes by heading for Ouzoud.