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Rest Day - Aït Ben Haddou

I sure like rest days … even though we seem to wake up more or less at the normal time. Beautiful morning - still air, and cool. Several of us elected to do a walking tour of Aït Ben Haddou, and set off soon after a large and inclusive hotel breakfast.

What I learned today: Aït Ben Haddou lays along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. It is considered a great example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. So there you go…

Also, a whole bunch of movies have been filmed at least in part, here. I’m still pondering if this is or was worth a mention.

Another observation while enjoying nous nous in the village, after tour: no noise. No sound of vehicles, or tourist or machinery, radios nor music. Just the breeze in the trees by the river, and the birds.

* lots of steps in Aït Ben Haddou, even for a donkey

Despite signs of a tourist based economy, as well as logistical support to the film industry, there’s no ATM in town. Which proved awkward later in the day when it came time to settle one’s bar and restaurant bill. This situation made further awkward when hotel’s system couldn’t process either Visa nor Mastercard. Eventually and only late in the day, our bike mechanic traced problem down to the fact that the credit card machine wasn’t plugged into the ‘net. After all, it is an adventure tour.

* view from dinner

Not too much else to report. Mark and I cycled back to the town centre a little before 6:00 and ate a good dinner at an Italian place, La Terraza. Great views of the old city across the river. Headwind came out of nowhere on journey back up to hotel, helped to settle meal as it were.

In bed shortly after 8:00; another short day tomorrow with a commensurate late start planned.

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