Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Morocco: Camels, Argan Oil, Water Mill and a typical Moroccan lunch in Ourika

After our morning tea with the Berber family, we went camel gazing.

Yes, camel gazing indeed

Blondine was not excited to mount on the camels as she can’t separate the association of camel and sand, or the desert. There were no sand in the mountains that’s why, but the 2 Australian girls living in London temporarily on a foreign exchange program had a blast with the beautiful doe eyed animals.

The 2 Australian girls on a very short camel ride.

 Mint and Argan oil

Next on the program is a visit to a medicinal garden. The group had a quick educational tour of the small herbal garden while I took refuge inside the shop building. I was cold and my legs were trembling! The weather has gone worse, the rain showers didn’t stop and we are only seeing fog.

Nevertheless, we learned about Argan oil (from the Argan tree that is found in North Africa), how it is processed traditionally as well as its cosmetic and medicinal value. It is said that the Argan tree is now endangered and UNESCO is doing something to protect it. Well good then.

Peppermint of LBOURJ (arabic version).

This woman is traditionally grinding Argan seeds into oil.

Water mill and another Berber house

We also visited a water mill that is powered by the Ourika River and a house. Another primitive Berber house actually but with a pottery shop annexed to it. So obviously this is all commercial. We just played the game and looked around, not buying anything. I mean, what am I going to do with those pottery at home?

The primitive Berber house, kitchen, living room and bedroom, all in one place.

The pottery shop. Sorry no sale from me.

Moroccan Lunch: Lentil Soup, Tajine and Chicken Skewers

After the whirlwind little tour we are on to the next agenda... our most awaited traditional Moroccan lunch! The cafeteria restaurant was very local right on the main road in Ourika Valley. I forgot the name but I remember it being busy and we had to take the upstairs room.

We all had lentil soup and mint tea which was really good as we were all freezing from the cold weather outside. Unfortunately, we were not all properly dressed for this outing. Then our full warm lunch arrived. We are famished! Blondine ordered chicken tajine (see foto above) while I had vegetable couscous (see foto below).

The blonde Australian girl shrieked when she saw hair on her chicken skewers. It looked like pubic hair she said, lol. Oh dear lord, good thing we were done with our lunch!

See below fotos below of some of our team mate's lunch.

Next, now that we have recharged and full of energy, we are off to the Setti Fatma waterfalls trek!

Travel Period: April 2009
Destination: Ourika, Al Haouz (Marrakesh-Safi), Morocco

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