A Day in the Atlas Mountains

Jenny, Karien and I took a day to go explore a valley in the Atlas Mountains just outside Marrakesh. It was an awesome day. Started on the rooftop of the apartment I rented..

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Then Jenny, Karien and I met in the Medina square (Jemaa el-Fnaa) for breakfast and hit the road… Jenny had organised a local guide for the trip.

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First stop was to look at the mountains and we stopped at a Berber co-op to look at locally made crafts. I bought a tagine and hooded cloak (Djellaba). Will take pics and post later.

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Next to the craft shop was a small building where they put metal bands around the outside of tagines. They let me snoop around as they wielded the bands to the tagine.

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Then we drove for a bit and stopped at the base of the Atlas Mountains. There were a lot of cafes along the roiver bank and we stopped here for some food and just to hang out. Jenny went for a walk while Karien and I hung out.

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We then drove back down the valley, taking a few photos of other cafes, as well as some villages, as we went.

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Then the guide took us to a Berber family home for tea… they were lovely people and gave us permission to take some photos of their house. Inside they had a cow, a heap of tagines and the coal cooking pots for tagine, a millstone for making flour, a bread oven … it was super fascinating. Our hosts were wonderful and the team and assorted nuts and biscuits were delicious.

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We returned to the square at night and had dinner together before going our separate ways… each off for our own Moroccan adventures over the next days…. it was a perfect day.

Hanging in Moz

I was on my way to South Africa and it seems they changed the visa requirements for NZers. I have been to South Africa plenty of times before and always got a visa at the airport. For some reason, this time, I check ‘just in case’ – and find I have to apply at an Embassy for a personal interview and the visa processing would take a minimun of  7 working days and the outcome is not guaranteed.

So, I miss out on the Decolonising the Internet conference my buddy Anasuya is putting, on also the Shuttleworth panel we were going to be on at Wikimania. Sucks. But, its one of the few times I have had visa hassles as NZers are seen as ‘mostly harmless’ – so I can’t really complain. Except I really wanted to be there… ah well…so, last moment reschedule lands me in Mozambique for a 2 week holiday. Now I certainly can’t complain about that and I’m not even going to try…

Rented a small apartment on the beach and a surfboard… if you want to find me I might not be so easy to find for the next wee while…

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A day in Northland

When in NZ, I often have meetings at 1am, 2am, 6am… since most of the team is ‘somewhere else’ 😉 That can be pretty tiring but a bonus is that if I can muster the energy I can sometimes slip away on a weekday, during the day, and enjoy Northland. Some photos from such an adventure today. I took my neighbor Mike out for a day’s surf’n at Ahipara.

The first two photos show a car we passed that had tried to get around the rocks (we drove around there today – it needs a good 4WD). The car broke an axle and then the tide came in and wrecked the car… it was a sad sight to see and a sober reminder of how treacherous the coast can be.

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dsc05407 These photos of us returning to the Hokianga on the Rawene ferry. The end of a great day.

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