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Village on the road to Marrakesh

After arriving in Casablanca, I am picked up by Majid, my guide, driver, translator, negotiator and body guard all rolled into one see, to drive me the two and a half hours to Marrakesh. We stop on the way at a traditional roadside café where we eat cheese omelets and sweet mint tea. Majid brings olives and fresh virgin olive oil hand-pressed by his mother from the family's farm for dipping the round flatbread into, the perfect first meal in Morocco after my overnight flight. The drive to Marrakesh is great way to orient yourself to Morocco. The scenery as you move south changes from bucolic farmland to dry and rocky terrain with the High Atlas mountains in the distance, and plenty of scenic donkey carts, sheep, hayfields and small villages scattered along the way. Much better than waiting in the airport for another airplane and being deposited directly in the stifling and chaotic scene that is Marrakesh. We arrive and spend the afternoon trolling the medina for unique goods - baskets and trinkets -- that might fit in with the Kahina concept. I narrowly escape buying three antique Berber rugs that are way beyond my budget. To stave the heat, we drink plenty of fluids, which in Morocco means juice -- fresh squeezed orange juice, the delicious avocado "juice" which is really a healthy version of a milkshake, and fresh squeezed sugar cane juice.
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