The sky of the High Atlas is blue, a blue I’ve never seen.
We left early from Marrakech, driving Amer, to the Issa talk that speaks an acceptable Italian. On the rise at Col du Tichka (2260 meters) for me nothing interesting, for my wife a very interesting emporium where we work and sell to curious tourists as we produced argan oil.
After the abrupt step on the P-1506, there is a whole plain on ocher and brick tones – Telouet – says Issa – are we stopping – if you want but later on it is more beautiful – and after twenty minutes it is true, it is much more beautiful, a show of light and colors on the whitish greto of a dry torrent graze black goats, at the bottom a red brick sloped out of white zigzags on which a green camouflage slope runs up, a yellow sand sloping dotted with dense green bushes, and then the cobalt blue sky scraped by a light white cirrus like a feather, we are in another world.
Water is life and the valley of the Ounila we are descending is a green strip on the bottom of a canyon dug between rocks with all the shades of red-ocher-yellow, occasionally the strip extends to fields and orchards, houses of the villages are on the edge of the canyon to not steal space for the crops. Okay, still a stop to take a picture, but we have to get to lunch at Ait Ben Haddhou – let Issa get away, Amer and wife nod in silence.
What are the Nile Jewelry, The Gladiator, Un in the Desert, and last but not least, Oedipus King of Pasolini All of them have been filmed, at least, in the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified village so typical and well preserved that it becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Issa gives us half an hour for a free visit first handicraft boutiques – beautiful watercolors – then empty towers and bat excrements – I suck – at the top of a big stork – that’s beautiful – abandoned passages and pigeon excrements – that suck – a gray donkey in a small enclosure – that nice (the comments are of my wife). From the top of the hill to which the village lies, the landscape spans from the Atlas Mountains to the plain towards the Sahara, blue sky, blue is up there.
Two hours of overwhelming machine for too much light and little postprandial rest from Ouarzazate to the Dadés gorges but fresh winter air wakes us – those are the fingers of monkeys – Issa explains and points the rocks to the mammon on the other side of the small valley, low sunlight on the horizon runs on the bare branches of white poplars and stops on what, yes, they seem to be monkey fingers – but do you know how the monkey’s fingers are