There was an optional two-hour walk in the mountains that everyone was very keen to go on. While I was waiting for it to get started, I stood on the gîte balcony and noticed some kids playing below. I blew up a balloon and patted it down to them, and one of them caught it. The other two looked on expectantly, as I took the photo below.
Due to what appear to be new restrictions on the size of photos uploaded to WordPress, the one above is not very HD. You should be able to see a better copy on my Flickr photostream.
The group optional walk went up a track to a valley behind the gîte where some women were gathering fallen leaves from almond trees to feed their animals.
As I took the photo above, which would have turned out much better if the light hadn’t been going, the woman in question called to me and said in Berber what I took to be the equivalent of something like, “Hey Jimmy! Fit ye dayin takkin ma photie? Ah’m nae an effin’ monkey in a zoo, ye ken!”
Not wanting to be stoned to death on the way back to the gîte, I put my hand in my rucksack and took out a brightly coloured marker pen, which I pointed to and placed on a rock, and then shouted back to the woman what I hoped she would take to be the Berber equivalent of, “There yeez go, hen. Fer ra weins.”
This seemed to have the required effect, as she shouted back, “Shukran”. I would have liked to have taken many more photos of Berber people in the High Atlas, but it’s understandable that they, like most other people, don’t want to be ‘snapped’ by tourists. In the next-but-one post I’ll include some short videos taken in the Telouet market, where there were some men with fantastic weathered faces.