April 20, 2013 GMT
Miracles happen !!


Part one

While I'm typing this I sit in the house of the beber family of Mohamed surrounded by his family and enjoy hospitality as I never did before and it started with a bike break down in the middle of nowhere......

After a relxing restday in La Fibule du Draa Zagora we had an early start and headen first for a quick visit to the sand dunes near Tinfou

A small strech of Sand dunes on the road to Mhamid, just about 100km from the Algerian border. We took some pictures with Camels included and then we took a new piste north to Tazerin

Fantastic scenerie, no traffic a bit like a moon landscapeand now and then some bushes and all went smooth until disaster struck;

After a water stop the bike started normally and out of a sudden all lights started flashing and then the bike went dead. Battery was okay but as soon as we hit the start button all went dead again We checked all the electrics , the side stand switch .....still nothing.

The sun was burning as out of nowhere a few kids appeared with a bowl of couscous Hospitality Morocccan style, I dug out some soap books and sweets and they were happy But me and the bike were not, Harry tried everything and still nothing changed.

Towing was next, and we even got an escort from some locals until we hit the tarmac. Another 50 miles to go and it started to get dark we stopped as a guy on a motorcycle stopped and said he would know a mechanic that can fix the bike
He invited us into his house and Mohamed' s Mother took care of me and made me sit outside the house and drink sweet and hot tea.,everybody sat along the outside wall relaxing in the warm evening air.

Harry took off with Mohamed to get his friend the mechanic.

The whole neighbourhood came to say hello to the crazy woman from Ireland who came all the way on a big bike.

Mohamed and Harry finally returned after an hour with the mechanic, after crashing three times... off piste... in soft sand ... in the pitch dark ... breaking the bikes screen, luckily that was all that was broken.

After checking all the electrics the culprit was found, the side stand switch was faulty, and the battery that I was told is okay by bmw motorrad in dublin, was also faulty, bummer!

I was not allowed to work on the bike , thats a man's thing I was told. I got a scrub in a mini hammam and though we did not speak the same language we understood each other.

There were woman , children, men all enjoying the evening and when the muezzin called for the evening prayer the older men rolled out there carpets facing east,

The rooms in the house have little furniture ,carpets are rolled out and pillow spread out Little tables are used for the food and man and woman eat in seperate places after the Mohamed's father as the head of the house had his dinner Couscous with vegetable and chicken and as dessert fresh oranges and bananas

When we had all finishes the meal Aisha, the youngest sister of Mohamed went around with a washing bowl and soap so everybody could wash there hands

Then it was bed time ,carpets and blankets were rolled out.... The family slept out sider in the courtyard and we were offered to sleep in the front room. The girls would not let me go to sleep before they covered the palms of my hands withe henna and then they were stuffes into plastic bags for the night.........

Part two

Sleeping on the floor on carpets was more comfortable than we thought and it was so quiet and you could here only the sound of insects and crickets

The next morning we got up early and berber breakfast was served. Mint tea,flat bread with a filling of cooked onions that they dip in oil when they eat it and a large dish of noodles.

With renewed energy Harry and Mohamed groved once more to the next town to get a new battery. They returned quiet quickly with a brand new gel battery. 300 dirhams ,about 30 Euros was the price for it and it is as good as any ones they sell in Europe for more than 100 Euros

As they went on to fit the battery the mechanic arrived again ,much to our surprise and one..
two....three they bike was running smoothly again
He was delighted when we sent him off for a test ride

While the lads worked on the bike I sat with the woman and children and more neighbours arrived to say hello .
The tv in the back played some moroccan soap, a mixture of Indian drama and Coronaition street. The woman do not understand why I dont have children, for the berbers the family is the most valued asset and to have 4-5 children is normal and they said I could have one or two o f theres.

While Mohamed's oldest son Yussuf went off to school ,Ibrahim and baby Sidi played with the few toys they have .Self made things like a some ribbon with a stick tied to one end and an empty PET bottle to the other and a cuddly toy that looked like a dog, I haven't seen any happier children, they get so much love and attention.,amazing..

The town Ait Izzou was also part of a very old ksar or castle and some of the buildings including the remains of a hamam, a public bath, are still in good condition. Aisha and her witty little friend Miriam gave me a private tour through narrow alleys and into courtyards. Some parts that are still used as stables for goats and sheep or storing goods

The family has a small garden in the courtyard where they grow some vegetables and herbs.
it is amazing what can be done on smallest patch of land

Time passed so fast and Yussuf was back from school just as it was time for lunch A delicious tagine, bread and fruit,magic We haven' t experienced so much hospitality in a while It soon was time to pack the bikes and get back on the road towards Tazerine.

The whole family came to say goodbye and wish us luck for the journey I was sad to leave and hope I have the chance to return.....

Posted by Barbara Halter at April 20, 2013 08:36 PM GMT

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