A wrinkled man gestured like putting slippers on with his empty hands….as two front feet and shins of a cow lay in front of him on the grey stone walkway into his store where whole skins and pieces were layered and climbed the pale pink walls.
“Just for looking…. Yes madame… just for looking..You come and
A black skinned hand with enlarged knuckles and thin misshapen fingers held my left hand as it pulsed up and down to the beat of hand drums which are warmed and their edges blackened in the golden rising flame of the fire; as the cold air descends on the expanse of the light coloured silted river valley.
After the soulful melody of a solo male
Fragrant rose and cinnamon;….perhaps sandalwood and neroli as well - drifted on the warm steam as I was led gently by my right hand into a small room wearing a pale soft loose fitting robe, which was carefully slipped from my shoulders from behind as I entered this small rectangular room. “Madame, s’il vous plait”..and I was gestured to sit on a warm sheet of stone, softly moulded like skin.
A large silver ladle ceremonially poured hot water over my body
Dried skulls…bits of rabbit skin and fur.. ground minerals from clear crystals and rocks ….dried herbs… ..broken bits of bark…mummified lizard legs…and shards of bone; were carefully broken and pinched and placed in a piece of hand written paper torn
The morning prayer wailer’s call to Allah filled the early morning darkness; echoing across the valleys were prayers broadcast from grey metal loudspeakers perched on the top of the rectangular columns of the mosques. I lay listening to the
Old newspaper wrapped small chunks in crates – fossils and minerals …and grey and yellow torn bags bulging with dirt were all now laying far removed from the source from where they came using escavators, hammers, grinders and dusty sweat;
The rose petalled fountain at Palace Didi at Meknes was left behind as we funnelled through a tunnel and were ushered through the morning traffic by a swarm of attendants wearing safety vests; with the traffic mayhem once again being directed by one of those men behind a strong black moustache. Very quickly buses were replaced with long lines of mounds of drying onions hanging on
Rose water, rice in sweet honeyed milk, soft white custard with almonds, plump dried apricots and prunes in subtle spices echoing the melodies of far away places where date palms surround green and where white fabric blows in the desert wind.....thoughts of coming days as I ate my beautiful breakfast,
I am sitting now at a winery at Had Badchoua waiting for lunch after being escorted by the local police for 20km from Casablanca and 130 km east toward Meknes. Cheers lined the streets and men in
“Bonjour madame…. Passporte s'il vous plait”…. Oh my goodness… we are on a boat in Spain going to Morocco and the officer was speaking French. I am so confused!!! “Marhabah” I said with confidence to the Customs officer at the Moroccoan Port of Tanger Med only to be greeted with “Bonjour madame.” I couldn’t work out what was going on here. French??? I knew in Morocco, French was spoken...but
We had to cover some k's yesterday from Evora to Algeciras where the square, grey, rough granite cobblestones led to castles; and ashfelt and white lines led to cranes spearing out from near the ocean on the very south-east corner of Spain.
The plump green rolling hills were filled with ripening olives and gnarled
This morning was amazing!! After spending a night in a very ordinary motel which was undergoing renovations during the ‘quiet time’, Penny steadfastly carried us up through this spectacular landscape – climbing to 2000mts alongside the Zêzere Glaciar Valley where the slow moving block of ice gouged and rumbled a tract across the land; and now instead of a frozen mass, sheep graze and small plots of
Yes again..the biggest computers in the world still cannot accurately predict the forces of nature – and that rain which went to the plains....in Spain.... returned - when the forecast was for today was to be clear !!! …AND we thought we would drive through the Serra da Estrela, the only ski resort in Portugal.
We left Peso da Regua after a rather sumptuous brekky of queijo; (that is - queso, fromage, cheese - in Portuguese);
Well… so much for some of the biggest computers in the world predicting the weather!!! The rain which was supposed to stay around for a few days, blew across to Spain…. mainly across the plains ..hahaha… on it’s way to the rest of Europe – leaving autumn leaves and tracks of soil and earth down the mountainsides dribbling like chocolate and caramel topping - now set on roads and footpaths.
Patches of blue and white puffed in the gentle wind and
I haven't got up to the lesson yet where the bar staff at a Hostal says that she can't show me or give me a room because she is the only one serving at the bar and cannot leave it to take me to a room. ...so onward to another Hostal where the reception staff could speak absolutely NO ENglish whatsoever - which I was VERY excited about because I really wanted to
No wonder everyone in Spain sleeps in until mid morning… behind the shutters in the morning it is pitch black!! ..and 8 o’clock snuck up on me very quickly! Opening the shutters brought with it a bit of a surprise. Where did the blue go?
Our journey has begun in search of Queso…cheese…glorious cheese. Once again.
We left the port of Santander and headed west passing through coastal areas of small fishing villages and rather empty tourist towns. Our kettle boiled alongside the comforting sound of bells which hung around the necks of grazing cows on the lush green pasture, separated by high rocky cliffs above the calm Bay of Biscay. In the distance we could see snow on the mountains to the South west… and Penny was on her way !!!
Fabrica de Quesos!! A cheese factory… Stop!! I quickly
After a two month journey across the ocean in a container, we finally were reunited with Penny as she sat forlornly in a wet storage yard at Pier 23 at Tilbury in the UK; unbeknownst to us having been unloaded the day prior and sat overnight in pouring rain awaiting for us to collect her. At last she was with us again and off we went, excited to be on our journey toward Morocco.
That excitement was shortlived as within a few hours, Max landed himself in a cardiac ward in Royal Berkshire hospital