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The Distance

MOROCCO | Friday, 12 February 2010 | Views [417]

Reluctantly crouched at the taxi line
Engines pumping and thumping, they whine
The fruit shop closes, the Merc's fill up
Churning and burning, they yearn for the top

They barely maneuver and give way to rank
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank
Reckless and wild, they stagger through turns
Their prowess is dormant and long-ago burned
As they slow through the village, the people get out
The seats free up, and they have no more doubt
The Mercedes is empty except for one man
Still huffing and puffing as slow as he can

The sun has gone down and the moon has come up
And long ago somebody left with the pups
But he's patient, not complacent and constanly yearns
And thinking of something for which he still burns.....

well, it may not have entered the charts that way, but i'm sure if
Cake headed for the mountains in Morocco, it's how they would have
penned "The Distance".

Following a 2 hour wait for the clap-trapped 1983
Mercedes-cum-share-taxi to fill up with passengers, a futile battle is
waged by my left and right testicles for prime position for what i
know will be two hours of M.A.S.H. reruns.  The puny moroccan youth in
the front seat is swallowed whole by Djallaba-the-Berber* as he mounts
the passenger seat. That familiar smell of not-yet-fried chicken
lingers around my earlobes, and i whisper silent prayers to a licorice
all-sorts-of-deities that the mystery Tajine was not set to "stun".
There are mountains through that fog, and i among mortals am sent to
find them.

That grin that dug its roots in 4 hours ago now has colourful green
sprouts as Russell, an NGO worker in the area, tells me i'm the first
foreigner he has seen since Ramadan (i was also surprised to learn
Foreigner are still together!).   The impossibility of setting up a tent
anywhere near a Berber village without being welcomed into the home,
and counted as a brother/son is quickly discovered.  I acquaint myself
with that devilish "spelunk!" sound as i get drenched in equal
childlike portions of mud and grins in the largest cave system in
North Africa. All 250m vertical drop and the 4 (known) kilometres of
it.  As for the mountain, Russell's advice to "just keep following the
goat trails "up" and you can't miss it" proves sound when surrounded
at the summit in the wet silence of fog.  Returning through mystic
cedar and oak forests, the cold hums and is accompanied in this silent
orchestra by the triangle-twinkle of condensation forming and the
patter of moss whispering its deep secrets.

hugs and love from Morocco

*Those ubiquitous wizard outfits are known as Djallabas.


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