Thursday, December 3, 2009
From the Freezing Cold to Clove-and-Ginger Tea
"Skingibir" is a word I was glad I knew. It is the word for ginger in Arabic, and I remembered it when I asked what was in the tea in Marrakesh. It was phenomenal. I hope that some day I can merit to reproduce such tea. It was served to me from one of four guys on the street in a stand with a huge samivar. People - mostly men - would order a cup, and like at the orange juice stands - they would just stand there, taking their time, sipping away, and finally paying 4 dirham (45 cents) for the delicious brew.
But before I got to have my Thanksgiving tea (I had it the next day, too, which was, in fact, the American day of Appreciation), I was still tromping up Toubkal, my nose falling off, my hands icy, gripping a bottle of water I had collected from at a frozen waterfall. Marrakeshi tea was still a far-off dream.
The hike up was hard. We shimmied up boulder faces, dug our toes into gravel, lugged our tennis-shod feet up 45 degree angles -- all of which was nothing for our Super-Great Dane. In fact, when we got down, we all collapsed to eat lunch at the refuge (tomatoes, cucumber and fromage, of course), he bounded off to go valley-hopping. No joke. It took about 3 1/2 hours to climb up, but 2 to climb, or rather, ski down. We spent some time at the top. I'll include a few photos, though I don't have so many since my camera battery died. Anyway, we hiked all the way back to Imlil, grabbed our stuff, had a scream-off with the guy at the hostel because he wanted us to pay for that night, and jumped in a grand taxi (Super-Great Dane in tow) for Marrakesh...and clove-and-ginger tea.
Pictures are in opposite order:
Toubkal (like I said, I have very few), the guy who appropriated my sunglasses ("traded" me earrings for them), our friend Hassan the blanket weaver from the roof of the has-been synagogue, Krista and myself overlooking a gorge with our guide and driver from the desert, and finally: the tea.
Posted by Shev at 2:52 AM