And the long walk home...
Almost all night we were aware of it raining. There was the gentle sound of splashing on the dirt and clay roof, and the less frequent and less gentle sound of the rain coming through the roof to land in metal pans and buckets. Not much came through, but just enough that you could hear a somewhat steady *plink* of the droplets landing. It also got cold. We were pretty comfortable inside our house, but you could tell that the temperature outside was getting much lower.
In the morning we awoke, dressed and began the day as we normally would. I ran outside to fetch some water for the morning cooking and such and it was cloudy, very cold, and foggy in our valley. A few minutes later Mary came out of the house and pointed out, through a clearing, the change in the mountains.
Our valley was wet, but not white, like all the surrounding hills. A few degrees cooler and we would have had a nice blanket of snow covering us for our morning walk back to Midelt. This struck Jess and I as pretty funny because we had been joking, during the long and hot walk into the valley, that it would be funny if we got snowed in and had to stay a few days. Close, but not quite. The sky started to clear a few hours later, we sat and talked more, but finally had to leave in order to make it back to Midelt before sunset.
The walk back was yet another adventure. We got to see how some other people live. These homes are dug straight into the hillside. Warm, efficient, cheap, just not very glamorous. They live in a great simplicity, surrounded with a community of others acting similarly.
We also decided to not return completely by the same road, but take a couple of short cuts. Some of these shortcuts took us up and over some higher elevation ridges and peaks and offered some amazing views of the valley from which we had just come.
A view back into our favorite little Moroccan town.
A view from on top of a hill with a built in man-made reservoir for crop irrigation. In the foreground is a 2 or 3 house town with a large plot of irrigated and terraced land, in the distance in the valley we were in leading off to the snow peaked High Atlas Mountains.
The rest of the walk home was along the same road, but the snow and cold wind just gave it a magical appearance. We passed many people returning from the big Sunday market in Midelt headed back out to their village. This man had a team of 5 or 6 donkeys and was headed the way we were coming from. Every meeting on the road at this point was just comical. Some foreigners go out this way, but not many, and I am sure that none of them walk there. We were quite an oddity on this road, and the expressions on peoples faces let us know that. The most common look we got from people was somewhere between confusion and bewilderment.
There is one more photo I wanted to display, but I can not seem to get it to upload. I think it is good enough to stand on its own, so that will just have to happen later on.
I hope from this that you can see what an amazing weekend it all was. I know it is hard to tell from photos, but it really was astounding to be in this valley after an early snowfall. I hope that comes through...