Au Sanglier Qui Fume
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We had a personal tour today. A driver picked us up and
then a guide. We learned later that the guide was taking us to his
family home. We hiked for about an hour. Saw some wonderful country
side. Got a little winded.
We sat on the rooftop and had a wonderful lunch of tomato
salad, chicken tangine, and melon. His mother had made it. What a
... to be a really good experience, or a really bad experience.
Hiking--the idea of walking through the countryside is actually a pretty new concept here in Morocco. Typically Moroccans like to drive or ride to a place--the beach or a river... and just sit and relax. Walking? That's for people who live in remote areas who don't have cars or public transportation. And they're definitely not doing it for fun.
Starting our Hike
And so we reach ...
... reason why I've got to come back to Morocco someday...
I pass through the village and there's no sign of transportation. I ask a couple of people and I'm told that there is a driver who usually heads down to Aoulouz about this time--but I'd better give him a call first. A young friendly fellow offers to give him a call for me.
I finally reach the weekly market area--which is pretty quiet ...
... A bit further up ahead (and a safe distance out of reach of the old ladies) I take a break next to a group of younger climbers who look about as worn out as me. "We're from the Netherlands" they tell me. "I guess you don't get many experiences like this in your country!" I respond "Nope--just seeing mountains is something really special for us." I continue on. Finally the peak of Toubkal comes into view. Toubkal is not a "stand alone" mountain like Mt. Ararat ...
At first I assume that this is just another tomb of a saint which people come to pray to and request special favors (a practice common in Morocco, but frowned on by many who say that this is not part of "true" Islam). This sort of practice, with different variations, is pretty common around the world in many different religions. But Sidi Chamharouch is something quite different and like something I've never heard of before.
Sidi Chamharouch is a courthouse for ...