Borj Biramane

Sunset at Auberge Borj Biramane
Our truck looking insignificant against the mountain.
The dry river bed route to the village

We stayed in the grounds of this lovely auberge between Icht and Fam El Hisn. We chose it because it had a recommended restaurant – and it served alcohol.
In Morocco, cafés and restaurants served only water, beverages or soft drinks. Hotels usually offered alcohol but it was relatively costly. Our regular tipple was a bottle of mineral water – so a real drink was a very welcome change.

200 year old mud houses

We took a walking tour from the auberge along a deep, dry river bed to the village.
We were taken to see 200 year old dwellings made of palm trunks and mud – some still inhabited by families.

Our guide had to help his friend who was in danger of dropping his sack of produce

Our guide told us that it hadn’t rained in the area for five years – although water could always be found 15m underground. Actually, the following day it did rain quite heavily.

The villagers grew vegetables and fruit – oranges, lemons and pomegranates. The orchard area was irrigated by a complex series of water filled concrete channels with sluices sending the precious water to different parts of the plantation.

The guide showed us a carob tree and told us that the beans inside the pod always weighed exactly the same and were used on a balance scale to weigh precious stones, such as diamonds. We were not at all convinced by this “fact” so later we checked with Mr Google and found the guide was quite correct. The word carat comes from “carob”.