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Tan Tan

(still being molly-coddled)

sunny 25 °C

Mlhafas!

Mlhafas!

After weeks of steeling ourselves for survival in the bush, Battle Axe, D Dawg and I bit the bullet and hopped on an overnight bus to the South. We'd prepared every necessity for 2 months of primitive camping—a tent soaked in Deet with enough floor space for 3 full-sized Julia's and packs, mosquito net body bags, ultra-violet water purification laser pens, and a full can of automobile fuel for miniature camping stove (and miniature espresso maker!)--all we found useless when we arrived in Tan-Tan.

Alex gets kidnapped in the Sahara

Alex gets kidnapped in the Sahara

Khalti Naima ushered us into her home, offering warmed wheat bread, a hot shower, freshly made beds, and a breakfast that covered two coffee tables. When we'd asked our Moroccan friends of people they knew in the south, in hopes of finding a free place to stay, we had no idea we'd entered into the unadvertised but five-star informal Moroccan Couch-surfing network. Our every need was met before even uttered in our flawless but sometimes lazy Moroccan Arabic. Our true wants (to just stay in Morocco for the next two months) were satisfied as we gave a proper goodbye to the country we've grown to love so much, and repeated the simple things that our Moroccan friends had taught us to love so much. We were henna'd, we danced and we made delicious foods. We posed for pictures in traditional garb, played with babies, and watched Mexican soap operas dubbed in Arabic. We wandered the desert city with cousins Amina and Majda, buying colorful wraps and returned home to pull apart freshly baked harsha, creating the foundation for the healthiest “rifisa” (a mountain of spicy chicken, lentils, beans, and sauteed onions) we'd ever tasted. The thought of setting up camp in a Senegali rain forest seemed far away, if not less and less appealing.

Saharawis!

Saharawis!

Well-rested and refreshed, we said our goodbyes and grabbed a taxi, off to Laayoune to celebrate the Big Moroccan Holiday (L3id kibir) during our final days in our second home-land.

Posted by Jbrwocky 27.11.2009 11:38 Archived in Western Sahara Tagged luxury_travel

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Comments

Hi Ladies. Alex, I traveled with your grandmother Barbara to Morocco last March and met you in Rabat. Your descriptive writing, filled with sensitive observations and touched with humor, is just beautiful, and I appreciate your sharing your continuing adventures. I've signed on to track your travels and wish you and your travel buddies the best! Shukran!--Anne B

27.11.2009 by abarriault

Hello my wild friends. I am thinking of you lots and wishing I were there with you. Your talk of rfissa makes me homesick. Miss you but remember I'll be with you all the way.

30.11.2009 by Nander

Hi all,

There is the disturbing story of aid workers kidnapped on the north Mauratania road on Sunday so you all be extra careful.

Also there a warning about travel to northern Mali which includes Timbuktu. Fish school theory: Hang around with lots of people in lots of light.

The British say this about the countries you are going to:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan-africa/mali
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan-africa/burkina-faso
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan-africa/ghana/
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan-africa/senegal

Some phone numbers in case you need them:

US Embassy:
Mali, +223 20 70 23 00
Burkina Faso, (226) 50-30-67-23
Senegal, (221) 33-829-2100
Ghana, (233) 21-741-150

UK Embassy:
Mali, +223 2021 3412
Burkina Faso (no embassy, call Ghana Embassy)
Senegal, (221) 33 823 7392
Ghana, (233) (21) 221665

02.12.2009 by smileatus

Hi Julia,
I am thrilled you are having this adventure and not an older woman like me.
Much love.
Suzy Kelly (Katie's mom)

07.12.2009 by suzykelly

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