Driving… driving… driving…We pass through the Valley of the Roses. We decline the opportunity to see rose attar and rose water being made; however, tourism in the area is well developed around rose culture, as most auberges or restaurants have worked a reference to roses into their names in some way.
Imad bought a large heart-shaped rose garland to hang from the rear-view mirror from some local children. It’s another one of these sad things: you can see these small children stringing the roses by the side of the road, and then standing by the road, some darting perilously close to the speeding traffic, trying to wave down cars to sell the garlands for a few dirhams. (In other places it was strings of argan nuts or dates or animal puppets woven out of palm leaves.)
Driving… driving… driving… On the road again, the car softly scented with rose, we first head off to the Todra Gorge, tourist Mecca extraordinaire! While the road into the gorge is flanked by stalls draped in brilliantly-colored scarves and shawls, the sheer red cliffs and crags of the towering canyon walls above and around us commanded our attention. We watched (me, through my fingers) as two people scaled the sheer rock walls on the far side of the river. They were like tiny insects up there, and the insignificance of their presence did more than anything else to make the scale of the gorge actually register. Note to self: NOT IN THIS LIFETIME!!!