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.


  1. Beautiful Pictures!!! I love the one's with pictures because sometimes I don't have time to read the whole post so with pictures I get the quick snapshot version (pun intended)When are you leaving for Part 2 of your year abroad? I am going to be in Israel for part of Winter Break (January 5-18) and it would be really cool if we were there at the same time!!! Miss you!

  2. your second picture down looks a lot like yellowstone. good times :)

  3. Chilly? CHILLY? All I can imagine is sweating our way up Jebel Moussa. Miss you, Shevsky.