February 15: Up the Nfis River to Ljoukak

The plan for the day was to hike through the countryside to the town of Ljoukak, a Berber settlement tucked back into the hills. Mother Nature had different plans with thick fog and on again, off again rain showers and snow at the upper elevations. While the land needs it desperately, the hikers were not enthused and chose to sit the hike out. Best laid plans get changed into even better ones. Hungering for more knowledge of the culture, the area, the country, everything Moroccan, the group settled rapidly into a morning of "school"!! With a mop of Morocco in hand the geography lesson began -- questions flying on every move of the pointer -- subjects changing from geography to religion to customs including marriage rituals, to any thought that crossed someone's mind. The time spent was worth a million textbook readings all condensed into a morning out of the rain!

With lunch rapidly approaching it was a "shuttle bus" rather than hike to Ljoukak, a small town at the end of the hiking trail. Once again the nose was treated to a enticing aroma long before the eyes feasted on the sight of the food. Moroccans use a variety of spices and herbs and each brings to the table a fabulous gift.

Rain was still in the forecast for the remainder of the day so it is back to the spa for the massage, the hammam or just a leisurely afternoon of reading and relaxing. Tomorrow starts with ride up and over the mountain ridge and off to the desert.

Morning At Sunrise

Another View

Lunch

Dessert

Snow

Cactus Flower