SOS Children’s Village

Today is sunny and mild, finally. Our hotel was a lovely traditional riad. Our room had a big bed with a warm comforter and a tiger colored blanket. You had to walk through the big round shower to get to the toilet. We were on the top floor,  and had to walk along the railing in the picture, through the rain to get to the stairs to the courtyard with an orange tree in the middle. A clear plastic sheet protects the courtyard and it has a tube in the middle that waters the tree when it rains. Dinner was cous cous in a room that just big enough for our group and had a fireplace in one corner. Breakfast consisted of a collection of wonderful warm breads, including one that reminded us of  Norwegian lefsa.

The first ten miles were more beautiful twisty roads, but now we had sun could enjoy the scenery and dry pavement. Trucks were headed to market. they were 25 feet long panel trucks with a fence on top and six cows or a dozen sheep in the pen. We even saw a man riding up there on one of them.

Our first stop was at an SOS Children’s Village. Our group is supporting this organization and we are visiting one on each of our segments to make a donation. 119 kids lived in this village, about eight to an apartment. A house mother lives with them and fixes all the meals. They had lovely gardens and grapefruit trees and eat all that is produced. They have school for the kids an d nice media lab. I felt proud to see all the Hewlett Packard PCs being used. There were other brands in one corner, but our guide told me that they didn’t work. Children from the surrounding village can attend the school, but have to pay about $42US/month to attend. It was a nice facility and felt like a good environment. The kids seemed happy and greeted us warmly. 

Our ride into Marrakesh was tricky. Trying to keep 16 bikes together is difficult. Stopping for gas and all having to use one pump and sharing it with tractors is time consuming. City traffic was crowded and we found our planned street was closed and had to detour. We used “second man drop off” group riding, where the person behind the leader stopped whenever we came to a round about or corner to indicate where the group went. It worked well and we all got to the hotel in the middle of town. La Maison Arabe is the best hotel in Marrakech and will probably be the best one we stay in in Morocco.

Wed 1 Dec.  Cascades D’Ouzoud to Marrakech  100 miles

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