The next few stops were only for one night each which meant a lot of traveling each day in the morning and an afternoon exploring the local attraction. After the Sahara, the first stop was Todra Gorge. Todra is a small town located right next to an enormous canyon with a river and a lush green oasis running through the centre of it. I'm not entirely su what the difference is between a canyon and a gorge. I'm sure I could google it and find out but there are some things that man was never meant to know, ya feel?
Anyway, there isn't much to really say about Todra beside saying the pictures I got of the actual gorge itself were mostly pretty blurry for some reason and the ones that aren't, totally fail to capture the size and grandeur of the place. Very humbling experience walking through it.
The night in Todra was also the night the champions league (soccer) final was played in Milan. By a total fluke, the two teams playing in the final were Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Atletico week the underdogs, I'd gone to see them play a few months earlier and I already had an Atletico scarf on me so picking a team was a no brainier. Also, FC Barcelona is super popular in Morocco so when I watched the game in the hotel, I was with 12 loud Moroccan men supporting anyone who wasn't Real Madrid. I wish I could have been in Madrid that night to watch the city tear itself apart in mourning/celebration but it was still a fun atmosphere.
On a scale of 1-10 of road coolness, this one is a yes.
The next stop was Ait Ben Haddou. Air Ben Haddou is a (now mostly empty) town that doesn't really have too much of a story behind it except that it's very old and looks cool. Also, it's the setting of Yunkai'i in Game of Thrones and the opening fight sequence of Gladiator.
Oh, we also stopped I'm a well preserved riad building to get an insight into how they were built, how people used to live in them, etc... The overly enthusiastic guide giving us a lecturing his conspiracy theory about how Islam, all religions, world events and everything in the world is connected to the number 5. #islaminatticonfirmed
That night in Ait Ben Haddou, we had a cooking class on how to make Moroccan tagine. It might be presumptuous to say my tagine was the best but it would also be incorrect to say otherwise.
The next stop was the small village of Armed (or Armad, Armd, Aamed, Amed, Amad or Amd, depending on which map you look at). Although Armed is a picturesque village high in the Atlas Mountains (looking up at the second highest peak in Africa), the most interesting thing about Armed is that it was the village of Abdellah, our guide. The only way to get to the village is to climb up on foot or on a donkey and when we got to the village, Abdellah took us all to his family home for tea. Although Armed didn't really have an 'attraction', it was a great insight into the way a normal Moroccan family might live.
Not like this
You know how some families live? Very badly. Millions of families living in refugee camps across the world have to make do with barely enough food to survive. Children go to sleep hungry simply because the UN and charity organisations don't have the money to adequately feed them. That's why from August 1 I'm doing the Act for Peace Ration challenge to live off the rations of a Syrian refugee for one week. It will be hard and godawful and if anyone wanted to sponsor me, feed some hungry refugees and get a warm fuzzy feeling twice (once when you donate, a second time when you get your money back at tax time) I would be incredibly grateful.
Donations can be made here but they close very soon