31 May 2007


I just found out yesterday that only foreigners call Errachidia by that name. Locals call it Rachidia, and so from now on, so will I.

I do not have much time to write at the moment, and so I will keep this post short, and reserve the space for a few photographs. Soon I will return with a full report on the happenings here in Rachidia as well as the previously promised videos and photographs of my journey from Azrou to here.

Below you will find photos of the following:

--Me with my friend Driss, sleepily sipping tea
--The creation of my new (somewhat too large) sandals by Abdelhak, the brother of Driss. Amazing, really, how quickly that man can make a shoe.
--Driss's Aunt. I have a nice picture of his mother that I will post soon.
--Driss's sister with Driss. His sister is (good naturedly) telling me not to take her picture, not saying that she is No.1

I hope that all are well.

29 May 2007

Ksar el Barrani, Errachidia

I have arrived in Errachadia, and I am currently in the suburb of Ksar El Barrani, visiting with friends.

I am not sure how long I will be here, but I am no rush to leave. It is wonderful to see these people after so much time away, and there is much to do and many more people to see.

The drive here was beautiful, and I have some videos and photos to share, which I will do tomorrow. For now, off to eat and then to sleep.

I will write more soon, as soon as something happens and I have more time.

28 May 2007


After my last post, I decided that it was time for a walk, a real walk. I started off down the road toward Ifrane, a town about 18 kilometers (around 11 miles) from Azrou, unsure of how far I would go.

The sun was quite hot, but the altitude and the occasional breeze kept the temperature reasonable, and I found the walking to be very pleasant. I walked along the main road between the two towns, keeping to the shoulder for shade and protection from vehicles.

I ended up going all the way to Ifrane, and the exercise and time in the hinterland was everything that I hoped that it would be. To be honest, I have found myself at times on this trip wondering why I have returned to Morocco. The places that I visit no longer hold the same mystery as they used to, as my familiarity with the country and many of its towns and cities have robbed me of a bit of the old excitement that I used to feel.

This walk, however, reminded me of my reasons for returning, refueling my desire to learn more of this country and to meet more of its inhabitants. At one point, about five kilometers into the walk, I crossed the road to sit outside a shop. Some locals were there, enjoying the shade as I was, and we began to talk a bit. They asked where I was going, where I was from, etc. I ate a bit of bread and drank some water and said goodbye, commencing once again my walk to Ifrane.

About a minute down the road, I turned back, called by one of the men with whom I had been sitting. He waved me back, and I returned, wondering why he was calling me. As I approached, I saw a silver platter sitting in the shade. Bread, butter, and tea sat there, and the man told me, "Eat, eat."

I sat back down and followed his instructions. Soon a woman came out, her young son clinging to her skirt. She gave me more tea and said hello, smiling at me. She made her son say hello to me and kiss my cheek. He then ran to hide shyly behind his mother's leg, peeking out on occasion. Each time that he did so, I would make a face at him, and he would hide again, laughing.

I continued to walk, passing little stores, school children, and other people walking. The air became slightly thinner as I moved farther up in the mountains. Suddenly, after passing rather humble houses, I came upon a spot where construction workers were busy building what appeared to be a palace. They worked on both sides of the road, building turrets and towers, walls and irrigation ditches. The place was huge, and extended far up the mountain and down into the valley. After asking a number of people (French only goes so far outside of the big cities), someone finally explained to me that someone from Abhou Dhabi was building some sort of resort there. Truly a strange contrast out there in the middle of nowhere. I took a photograph, but it was impossible to do justice to the place.

Down the road I went, passing a grouping of touristy shacks selling fossils (quite a common item for sale in Morocco) and other trinkets. I took some pictures of the monkeys that were hanging around the place, spoke with some guys in the area, and continued down the road.

Ten kilometers or so later, I reached Ifrane, a beautiful, strange town. Ifrane is home to an elite university called University Al Akhawayan. The University is based on the American system, and classes are taught in English. From what the Lonely Planet Guide Book tells me, this is place for the Moroccan political and economic elite, and the town and its inhabitants give the same impression.

It was bizarre, leaving the wooded mountain landscape and entering Ifrane. There, the roads are wide and lined with huge, shade-providing trees. A massive park takes up much of the town, and sprinklers and gardeners alike hydrate the vegetation with intensity. Children with book bags passed me by, looking at me, one occasionally saying, "Hi!" before nearly falling down laughing, seemingly amazed by their own courage. At one point, I stopped someone to ask for directions to the town center. "Do you speak English?" he asked me in response to my own question in French, "I speak English more fluently than French." This alone is an anomaly here in Morocco.

Even stranger than the presence of English in this small town was the architecture, which betrayed the town's history as a creation of the French "Protectorate" in the 1930's. Nearly all of the houses resembled nothing so much as Swiss chalets, complete with gardens and fountains. It should come as little surprise, then, that only 20 kilometers away lies one of the premier Moroccan ski resorts.

I finished my tour of Ifrane with an espresso, sore and tired. Some men at the cafe asked me how my walk had gone, and responded to my questioning look by explaining that they had seen me many miles before, at the site of the tourist shacks and the monkeys (Barbary apes, actually). The taxi ride back took only fifteen minutes, and in that short time, I saw all that it had taken me three or four hours to walk.

Tonight: calm relaxation, a nice dinner, and an early bedtime. Tomorrow: Midelt.

Ah! And one more piece of exciting news. I will be returning to Europe and the Iberian Peninsula earlier than expected. Ellen arrives on the 21st of June in Lisbon, and we will spend six days soaking up the sun of the Portuguese beaches, before I need to head to work in Southern Spain. After she leaves, I will have one week to kill before work begins, and I hope to visit some of the weirdo hippie encampments in the mountains outside of Granada.

More soon.


It is ten o'clock in the morning, and so I have done little today, but the Internet is so cheap here (fifty cents an hour) that I decided to treat myself before going out for a walk.

I have some pictures of the last few days which I will place below. Some are from a small children's parade in Meknes (notice the young boys holding a picture of the King. One of them has a paper hat that makes him look like a condom. Just like a bachelorette party.) Others are from here in Azrou: a picture of the landscape, one of the view from my hotel window, and one of a billboard with a photograph of the King.

In case it has not become quite obvious, the King is a very important figure here in Morocco. He is NOT like the Queen of England, who is basically a mere figurehead. Here in Morocco it seems that the Parliament is a figurehead, and the King is all powerful. Nevertheless, this King has been quite liberal, and has been a major force in creating new freedoms for Moroccans. This is not to say, however, that these freedoms have reached a level that many countries would deem acceptable. Freedom of the press, for example, is still something of a chimera, and most newspapers, even those of the opposition, fawn over the royalty in a truly sycophantic fashion.

One exception is Moroccan journalist Aboubakr Jamaï, editor of the newspaper Le Journal Hebdomadaire. His writings, quite independent and quite frank, have resulted, most recently, in a 350,000 dollar fine, and "rumors have it that he plans to self-exile".

Even the opposition newspapers, such as L'Opinion, however, display a bias (not that journalistic bias is anything rare anywhere in the world) that can be shocking to Europeans or Americans. I have included a somewhat blurry photograph below of a political cartoon from this newspaper. The caption reads, "It is a Palestinian activist". Notice the way in which the Israeli is drawn.

While this may be shocking, it is perhaps important to consider the way in which the US and European press often depicts Muslims and Arabs, or the recent controversy over the depiction of the prophet Mohammed in European newspapers. Bias and prejudice are certainly not limited to the Muslim world

Still, it is shocking to speak with people here about Israel, Palestine, and the politics of the Middle East in general. Anti-semitism is quite common, and it is not uncommon to hear seemingly rational, very friendly people on the street voice their negative opinion of Jews with few qualms.

Interestingly, the Jewish presence here in Morocco was quite large until the 1950s. After the beginning of the Spanish inquisition in the late 1400s, Jews and Muslims alike took refuge in Morocco, and lived in relative peace for hundreds of years. Most Moroccan cities boast a Jewish cemetery, in fact, and it is said by some that the blue color of the walls in Chefchaouen is a legacy of the Jews, though many locals will deny this fact. Unfortunately, the independence movement of Morocco in the 40s and 50s gave rise to a strong feeling of anti-semitism, and most Moroccan jews fled to Israel at this time.

Enjoy the pictures below, leave a comment, and check back soon.

27 May 2007


I have arrived in Azrou, a fairly sleepy little town about an hour and a half south of Meknes. I have done little today besides stroll around and read a newspaper, as I am feeling a bit under the weather and need some resting time.

Besides that, nothing of great interest to report. More soon, with some photos of Azrou.

New Town and Shave

After doing some internet work yesterday, I headed out into the New City of Meknes, curious to see what lay outside of the old quarter and general Medina area.

I walked through the streets, cracking on sunflower seeds and marveling at the differences. Here, the McDonald's rose as high as the mosques of the old city, and the cinemas boldly displayed movie posters of seductively posed women clutching at men.

Hip-hop style, that new lingua franca of the fashion world, dominated the fashion of the youth, and steely-eyed young men with stone faces walked like cartoon rappers down the street.

Bars were in evidence, though still quite discreetly, hidden behind the darkened windows and closed doors of "pizzerias".

Young women walked, their long robes not quite long enough to hide the baggy camoflauge trousers that they wore.

I continued walking, turning down a side street, wide and cobblestoned. The place looked like an MTV video, packed with people in baggy clothing and shirts emblazoned with the faces of American rappers and international pop idols. Tupac passed, and then Eminem. Che Guevara's face flew by.

A young boy approached me, perhaps around fifteen years old. He asked where I was from, and I told him Albania. He immediately made me nervous, staring covetously at my bag, which I cinched tighter around me. He followed me down the street, slapping friends five as we passed them in the cafes. I asked him what he wanted. He asked me if I was Mafia, and laughed, sneering at me.

His conversation was impossible to follow, he recited the names of French and Spanish cities, asked me again if I was "mafia" and then offered to sell me something which one sticks up one's nose. Heroin or coke, I was not sure, nor was I interested.

"Can I help you with something?" I asked him.

He sneered again and continued to walk with me. I shoved the package of sunflower seeds into my pocket, blocking off access to my money. I cinched the bag tighter and continued to walk, waiting for the moment when this local punk would try and rob me.

It was funny, really, that the first time in this trip that I have felt nervous was right then, intimidated by a fifteen year old who obviously knew everyone on the street, had no fear, and seemed intent to rob me. I continued walking, not scared, more annoyed that my walk should be interrupted by this need for care, for caution. Suddenly, just as he had appeared, he disappeared, saying goodbye and walking back the way we came.

I only understood a few moments later, when I too saw the police officer that he had obviously seen before me. I continued on my walk, undisturbed.

My friends have just left town, heading off to Casablanca, and in a few hours I too will leave, for Azrou, a small town about one and a half hours from here. I decided to clean up today, before leaving, and changed my clothes, took a shower, and got a shave.

This is something that I do from time to time, and I generally regret it as soon as I have done it, wondering why I shave, get mad at myself for doing so, and then do it again. Still, there is something attractive about changing one's face so easily.

I went to the barbershop, and the man took care of me. He lathered up my face and used a straight razor, wiping off the foam on a nearby sponge, until my skin felt like silk. He finished up by putting aftershave and skin cream on my face. It was a pleasant experience, though somewhat soured by what I believe was an absurd price for the work (twenty dirhams). Nonetheless, it is done. Check it out below.

26 May 2007

Camel Meat and Rome

Last night I dined on dromedary in the local market area. This has been a dream of mine for a long time, ever since I saw the camel butcher standing in his shop one and half years ago. He stood there casually, hacking away at meat, as a butcher is wont to do, obviously unfazed by the camel head hanging from the wall of his shop. You can see a picture that I took of this man last year here.

Much to my surprise, the same man stood standing in the same spot, still selling the same product. Only this time, no camel head graced the shop wall. I guess that it really is not that big of a surprise that this man should still be running his business one and a half years after I first saw him. Still, I was rather surprised to see this man that for me had long existed merely as a photograph, no longer even a memory.

I purchased my meat for 15 dirhams, about one dollar and fifty cents, and headed over to another nearby establishment. The place was small, big enough to hold only one table, a small bench, and the space for a man and his grill. For the mere price of five dirhams, this man will cook any meat that you bring him and place it a delicious loaf of bread.

He quickly and expertly rolled my meat into small cylinders, wetting his hands and adding extra spices to the already spiced meat. He then placed it on a small handheld metal frame, which he placed over the coals and left to cook, turning on a small fan to ventilate the place and strengthen the flames.

The meat was delicious, and really quite similar in flavor to beef, perhaps a bit leaner. It was truly a delicious, juicy sandwich, and I enjoyed every bite of it. Leaving the place, I congratulated the man on his work, said goodbye to my fellow lovers of dromedary meatballs, and passed by the butcher shop to thank the purveyor of the raw materials of that fine sandwich.


I had trouble falling asleep last night, thanks to the constant meowing of the stray cat that my friends, fellow travelers, and current roommates decided yesterday to adopt. The streets here are filled with cats, orphaned and otherwise, and Melanie is a sucker for their cute, malnourished little faces. Each time that she sees a cat, I know immediately, for her voice changes, becoming like that of a cartoon cat. Using this voice, she says things in French that I sometimes can't understand, but it doesn't really matter. I can imagine.

So, sometime after attempting to ignore the purring noises of this "petit mignon", pushing him off my bed when he dared to try and join me, and washing my hands over and over, I finally fell asleep.

Evan and I left the hotel early, as we had planned to visit Volubulis, the site of the ruins of an ancient Roman colony. We made it out there quite early, after catching a taxi to a nearby village and walking the rest of the way.

Along the way, we met a man at his little shop on the side of the road. He gave us tea, offered us his pipe, and showed us around his little shack. The man lived in the same building from which he ran his business selling souvenirs, in a room the size of a bedroom in a NY apartment.

He had a small bed, a television hooked up to a car battery, a radio, and a cardboard box of French books. Amazingly, in a country with high levels of illiteracy and little novelistic tradition, this man had read all of them. He proudly showed us his library while we sipped tea, and brought out two coins that appeared (very much) to be genuine Roman coins. I have no reason to doubt their veracity, as they were not for sale and appeared to be extremely old. But hey, I am no expert on such matters.

We left the man, thanking him for his hospitality, Evan wearing the new straw hat that he had purchased for twenty dirhams, and headed down the road. We reached the gates, paid the ten dirham fee, and went strolling through the ruins.

Amazingly, the ruins were nearly destroyed in the eighteenth century by the huge earthquake that affected Portugal (most of all), Spain, and Morocco. Luckily for the French protectorate officials of later years, a British historian had some time earlier sketched the entire site, and they were thus "easily" able to put certain stones back into the places where they had been before the quake. Presumably, therefore, the place looks just as it did at the end of the eighteenth century.

The place was beautiful, and while not quite as impressive as Rome or certain other spots, was really quite cool to see. The absence of huge crowds of tourists certainly added to the mystique of the environment, as well, and times it was possible to even think that I was alone, strolling the ruins solo.

Well, that is it for today. Tomorrow I will leave this place and begin my journey toward the South. I hope to be in Errachidia in a week to visit old friends, eat well, and relax a bit before heading out for some more traveling.

Thanks to everyone for the comments, and keep them coming. Also, feel free to email me at christophermbond@gmail.com with any comments, suggestions, or merely to say hello.

Be good.

24 May 2007


Ah, Meknes. It brings back many memories to be here, some of them good and others a bit more tragic, but all bittersweet in their own way. This is the first city to which I traveled on my first trip to Morocco, after having arrived in Casablanca.

I have come here with Evan and Melanie, my friends from Chefchaouen, having decided the other night to travel with them to this city, rather than head on to Fez alone. I have been to both of these cities, and while Fez is certainly somewhat more magical, more internationally reknowned, and larger, Meknes has a certain "je ne sais quoi" that makes it unique.

Forgive the above "je ne sais quoi" -- it was tongue in cheek, or at least "tongue slightly off from center and nearing the cheek" -- and I have been speaking a lot of French, so it just seems right. Really, though, Meknes is a great town, an Imperial city like Fez and Marrakech, and it certainly is worth a visit. Besides, the somewhat less famous name translates to less tourists and more "real Morocco".

Things are certainly different from Chefchaouen, where anyonymity was an impossibility, and where tourism and the drug trade compete for the title of Most Important Industry. Here, I am once again in the land that I remember from my last visit to Morocco.

Wandering through the souqs (marketplaces), I watch welders at work, listen to the loud chanting sounds of the sellers, gaze at the seemingly infinite array of dried fruits and nuts. I had forgotten how crowded these places could get, the jostling of shoppers, the veiled heads of women bobbing as they dig through clothing for sale, the agnry words that pass between pedestrians when bumped in the crowd.

I had also forgotten the smell of a Moroccan city--something unnameable and unplaceable--a mix between terrible and glorious. The air is sweet, as the odors of baked goods, hashish, and the exhaust of small engines compete for prominence.

Recycled Spanish buses run down the streets, pulling into the center of the road to avoid horse drawn carriages and stopped cars. The cafes bulge, filled with men, and spill onto the sidewalk's chairs and tables. The men slap cards and juggle dice, yelling loudly on occasion, heartily laughing and questioning the luck of their companions. Other men sit quietly, mind befuddled and fogged with the smoke of their hashish and tobacco cigarettes, gently sipping tea and gazing at the passersby.

This is, however, an Imperial City, as I have said, and so the town rises above and around these characters. Imposing walls, palaces, fortresses and dungeons divide the city into pieces, each sliver with a different feeling.

Tomorrow, or perhaps the next day, I will head out to Volubulis, the Roman ruins that lie approximately twenty kilometers outside of the city. Until I have news from there, I bid you all adieu, and hope that you are all well.

22 May 2007

Chefchaouen Video

Last Day in Chaouen

I believe that today is my final day here in this mountain town. I have taken walks, I have eaten breakfast in nearly all the main plaza's establishment, I have cooked a variety of meals with local goods. It is time to go.

There are some people here whom I do not wish to emulate, people that somehow find this a perfect town within which to waste away, numbed by hashish, and occasionally alcohol. This man Pablo, whom I have mentioned before, is an intelligent, interesting man with a wealth of stories matched by few. He regales with tales of the jungle and the desert, tells me of stealing cars in the sixties and seventies, and of forging checks in the same epoch. He has lived in Afghanistan, Iran, India, and Pakistan. And yet he is always smoking a joint, and pours his first glass of pastisse or whiskey at eleven a.m., shortly after rising from the bed.

There is a young American in the hotel as well, and I have never seen him leave the confines of the place. He wanders aimlessly through the short hallways, his short yet ungainly arms hanging at his side, smoke pouring from his mouth.

Needless to say, I do not see myself as one of these people, but being around them for too long can grate on a person.

Tomorrow I believe that I will head to Fez, though this plan is based on the possibly incorrect assumption that the Gods of the bus schedules will smile upon me. We shall see.

20 May 2007

Taking it Slow

So I am taking in quite slow here, and I have not yet moved from Chefchaouen. Every day I go to sleep unsure of what to do the next day, and then I remain.

This town, if one stays too long within its official confines, is a difficult place. It is most definitely touristic, and can be hard to handle the constant pleas by restaurant owners to enter their establishment, the hassle of the dealers, the smallness of the place.

Every time that I leave town, however, I am reminded of the beauty of this town. And so I spend my time in the mountains, walking beneath the hot sun and stopping to gaze at the houses from afar.

Today I went out with Evan, an American that I have met here, only twenty years old, who has come with his French wife. They are a great couple, very adventurous, very earnest, and very fun, and have provided me with excellent companionship over the last few days. So Evan and I, later joined by some other tourists, walked farther into the mountains than I had the other day, until we reached the next small town. There we merely chatted with some locals, drank a cold soda, and headed back to town for some late lunch.

There are some very interesting people in the hotel...some strange types really...the type of people that have been living here for years, Spaniards that have retired here (to smoke pot and drink whiskey and live cheaply), Americans that have stopped here while traveling and "developed a hash problem", Brits that come through with intelligent yet annoying arguments for why Africa is "all messed up". It really is a bit of a cast of characters here, and, like the rest of the town, they can become too much to handle if one spends too much time with them. As it is, they are amusing and can only add to my experience here.

I would like to add to my description of some of these characters, particularly Pablo, the retired Spanish man. Briefly, this is a man that left home as a young man to travel to India, Afghanistan, etc, as a hippie of the time might do (he says that he did so in a stolen car, and described to me his "fancy" and complicated method of thievery). He ended up becoming a war correspondent (he was a photographer and spoke some Afghan languages at the time that the war with Russia broke out) and eventually retired very young after losing most of his sense of sight. This man is an enthralling storyteller and a tragic figure, and it is my hope to soon give his story more justice with a thorough telling. For now, however, I will leave it at this.

Below I will include some more pictures of the mountains taken today. We will see what happens tomorrow, if I decide to leave or stay once again. For now, I leave you, and hope that all are well.

19 May 2007

Mountain Time

I had considered leaving Chaoen today--there is not all that much to see or do here. And yet, somehow the supposedly "laid back" charm of this place has a way of growing on me. Besides, I figure that after the non-stop two days of travel that I spent arriving here, I should really relax and remain immobile for at least a few days.

I headed into the mountains yesterday with some fellow travelers that I met in town. So Mathieu, Miranda and I walked up the hill leaving town, passing the crumbling mosque and the fields of grain, passing the herds of sheep and goats and the spring that serves as the source of the local irrigation, finally arriving at the fields of marijuana that my companions wished to see.

It was a long, hot walk, much longer than I had remembered from last year, and we were all relieved when we finally arrived at our destination. We were immediately approached by some local farmers that wished to sell us some of the local produce. I thanked them and politely refused, Mathieu happily purchase some of their wares.

The land is beautiful here--impressive mountains and awe-inspiring views, and the soil seems incredibly fertile given the location.

At night I shared a meal with my new friends, (seeing the sheep in the mountains had given me a real hankering for some lamb) and sipped tea until it grew late.

And then sleep, which is still a bit of an issue, as my body refuses to accept the time change. And today--tranquil--resting and hanging around the plaza, sipping tea...And then perhaps a stroll through the mountains once again.

Some pictures below.

17 May 2007


I have arrived in Morocco, after a long and arduous journey.

I woke up this morning at five a.m. -- the wonderful glories of jet lag -- and got out of bed immediately, completely aware of the fact that my body would let me sleep no more. By six-thirty I was on the road, in a taxi to the train station. There, I bought a ticket, and at seven fifteen got on a train to Algericas, where I arrived at noon. I then boarded a ferry and crossed the Strait of Gibraltar. Arriving in Ceuta (also called Sebta--this a Spanish "colony" or outpost or territory, or whatever you like to call it, on the African continent), I took a bus to the Moroccan border, walked across by foot and took three taxis (collective taxi followed by solo taxi followed by collective taxi) to finally arrive in Chefchaoen.

As some may remember, I visited this town a little under a year ago (May 28th, 2006), and wrote about it on this blog.

Well, I have returned, and oddly enough (I am not sure if I am being facetious or not at the moment), nothing has changed. The fields still shimmer; the sun bouncing off the shining marijuana leaves that pack the landscape. The houses still glow, almost supernaturally, the light reflecting off of their strange blue-white paint. Scores of young men still offer me marijuana. I even recognize the damn guys at the cafes on the square. Unfortunately, this includes the little strange looking inbred type of fellow that always tries to get me to eat at his place.

Luckily, he does not seem to have recognized me, though two people have already used this familiar Moroccan trick as a means to get me to talk to them. One guy approached me on the street and said, "Hey friend, how are you? Do you remember me? From the square? Some time ago?"

Note the lovely use of ambiguity here--so nuanced, so refined...Some time ago....the square? Ahhh...The vagueness of the question honestly had me wondering for a minute if he was being serious..."Maybe he does remember me," I thought, and then I realized that he was full of shit.

Another guy approached me speaking Italian. "Ciao, tutto bene?" he asked me.

"Tutto," I responded, "grazie."
"Remember me?" he asked me, still in Italian.
"No," I told him, quite honestly.
"Maximiliano," he said, "you are Maximiliano."
"No, I am not Maximiliano," I told him.

For the rest of our conversation, which pretty much centered on him trying to sell me pot and me demurring, he called me Maximiliano.

An interesting side note: This region in which I find myself is known as the Rif, and is the biggest marijuana producer in the area. Apparently (I say this, because I can not remember the statistics), some huge portion of European marijuana comes from this very area. Anyway, some say that the once common, now totally passe, term "reefer", can be traced to these mountains and their title.

Back to now; as for future plans, I think that I will stay in this town for another night or two, spending my days walking through the fields of mild hallucinogens, before heading a bit south to Fez. From there, I plan to head West, through Meknes, Casablanca, and finally Rabat.

More to follow soon.

16 May 2007


I have arrived in Granada, after suffering through a six hour flight. I was lucky (please note the facetious tone) to be seated next to a rather boring and strange lawyer from Virginia. This man had the incredible ability to not only talk non-stop, but to do so in the slowest, most Southern patrician voice that I have ever heard.

I also had the great luck to just miss (I watched it pull away, spouting fumes of defeat in my direction) the bus designated to bring my plane's passengers into the city centre, some miles away. The Granada airport, being a tiny little thing, did not have another flight arriving for over two hours. And so, unwilling and unable to pay the nearly thirty dollars for a cab to the city, I waited what turned out be nearly three hours.

But I am now here, tired but in high spirits, happy to be traveling yet missing home and those that remain there.

I hope that all are well. More soon.

14 May 2007

Tomorrow I'm Gone

Tomorrow evening, 9:16 PM I head off again into the world beyond this country. By the morning of the 16th, I'll be in Southern Spain, and by the 17th I will once again be in Morocco.

It's tough to leave, now that I have so much to leave back in North Carolina, but it is exciting nonetheless, and if I'm going to go I've got to go with energy and enthusiasm.

Be sure to check back here, as I will be writing about my travels, posting videos and photos, and generally trying to share with all of my loved ones, friends, and strangers too this journey of mine.

Check out the links on the right hand side of this page to see posts from my previous trips to Morocco.

More soon.

13 May 2007

Mother's Day

For Mother's Day, we headed out to the NY Botanical Gardens, located near Fordham University in the Bronx. The whole family was in attendance, and we had a great time checking out the flowers and walking through the wooded, shady paths of the gardens. Some pictures follow below.