Into the Ouzud hills

Trip Start Sep 16, 2006
Trip End Sep 16, 2007

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Demnate is one of Morocco's oldest 'Jewish towns'; in the foothills of the cold mountains.

The city is neat, full of history and people that look distinctly different from all of Morocco.
It's an odd mixture of things... It's larger than it looks on the map, and has a busy main street with lots of shops, donkey cart vendors selling juicy tangerines, and men hanging out in coffee shops.
Upon arriving in town, we stopped at a little side shop and got some snacks to charge up for the town hustle and bustle. Little kids, sweet little kids not the bad kind, came around and started inspecting us and our bikes. Very cautious, shy and curious. We couldn't resist, and so we got 20 pieces of candy and gave them out to the twinkle-eyed little ones, who were on their best behavior. One kid grabbed 5 candies extra and then showed his buddies. They were impressed... It was very cute; the whole candy scene, and made us remember how much fun candy is, and how much we loved penny candies as kids-- and still as adults.

We rode into town, and stayed at a cool little dive coffee shop 'hotel' for approximately 2 us dollars each, a record thus far. It was an awesome place, fun and a good experience-- though be warned that at these rates, one should maybe not expect to touch the bedding or use the communal bathroom down the hall. Anna likes to make a room urinal for us out of plastic bottles cut to be comfortable and wide. Think of it like camping, except indoors. Cold. Our panniers and belongings slept on a third bed next to us, while we fretted over the safety of the paper thin door and teensy lock. Hotels like this shut down and get locked up for the night, basically locking you IN, which can be unerving no matter where you are locked in.
We slept like babies though, happy and exhausted from our day's ride; but the funny thing was that in the morning, we realized that after meticulously locking our room from the inside and contemplating booby trapping it, we had actually left our door key in the lock, outside.
The really nice wrinkly old man, hotel-coffe shop owner had a huge smile for us in the morning, and we loaded up our bikes which were stashed in a back hallway, by the coffee shop's prayer room and public bathroom. A man wearing a beautiful avocado green Jelaba robe was busy praying, while a a guy in the bathroom was busy peeking at us through the bathroom door. We rolled out of the coffee shop past the usual all-male clientelle, eyes staring at us, loaded up on food for the day next door, and took off followed by a little kid on a mountain bike he was very proud of. He demonstared the front fork suspension repeatedly, then asked me to give him a pen. Then candy. I told him candy is bad for the teeth- but what do I know... Our next destination after Demnate is the little merchant town of Bzou... whoooowheeeeeeeeeeeee. Morocco is sometimes difficult but always great!
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bedam on

booby trrap
i'm glad to have read you decided against the booby trap since your space-case key in the outside lock. you prob wouldve set off your own booby trap anyways and woken everyone up! ;)

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