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Sahara

Day 12: Marrakesh to Ouarzazate

Marrakesh to Ourzazate, Morocco 
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By bus to the desert. Motorway catering at Tademt. Once chosen the lamb goes from slab to barbecue to mouth in less than ten minutes.
Michael Palin - SaharaMarrakesh bus station, romantically known as the Gare de Voyageurs, is not the sort of place to arrive at the last minute.

The details on the departures board are predominantly in Arabic, and in the busy central hall mine is one of the few heads moving from left to right as I try to decipher the scant French translation.

The depot is modern, concrete and functional, and beside the 'Horaires de Départ' a large portrait of the old king, Hassan II, looks down on the confusion from a veneered wooden frame. The king is the supreme civil and religious leader of his country, and remembering Amina's words yesterday about the superstition attached to any journey, I suppose it is reassuring to have the Commander of the Faithful gazing down on you as you look for the right destination, even if he has been dead for two years.

I must have forgotten to add 'Inshallah' (God willing) when I bought my ticket, for once through the gate, I narrowly avoid being mown down by two departing coaches before I locate the Express Nahda service for Ouarzazate, Zagora and the south.

The last few seats fill up in an atmosphere of increasing anxiety amongst the squad of young men who appear to run the bus company. Lists are checked, cross-checked and checked again, with deepening frowns.
Marrakesh to Ourzazate, Morocco 
click to enlarge 
file size
By bus to the desert. Motorway catering at Tademt. Once chosen the lamb goes from slab to barbecue to mouth in less than ten minutes.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Sahara
  • Day: 12
  • Country/sea: Morocco
  • Place: Marrakesh
  • Book page no: 52

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