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The Gift of a Rose

Tinnougba Camping heading north on N1 towards Agadir

Another reason for heading north was that we were running low on alcohol. Marjane was the biggest supermarket chain and most larger towns had a branch on the outskirts; but there had been some kind of backlash against the sale of alcohol and Marjane had stopped selling beer, wine and spirits. So we decided to drive to the tourist seaside town of Agadir which was the nearest place to buy alcohol from a store.

The road to Agadir was pretty poor so we took the journey in two stages and stopped overnight at a family run campsite. We got a warm welcome from the owner and his three sons. Despite its barren location, they grew vegetables on site and had planted flowering shrubs to soften the harsh terrain.

We enjoyed watching the antics of three children who were travelling with their hippy parents in an old truck painted in psychedelic colours. The children had joined up with the owner’s youngest son and were armed with sticks and were running around the site hooting and whooping. They were using a rope to climb up onto the roof of the half built dwelling (2 storeys) and jumping off on to mattresses placed on the ground. It look dangerous to us but it was joy to watch them running wild and having a such a good time.

A teenager playing on the roof

Our hosts provided a delicious meal of Berber omelette, bread and salad; they charged us a total £14.00 for our stay. I got on particularly well with owner’s 24 year old son, we were chatting about his life and his dreams and I was proud to be able to give him some grandmotherly advice. As we were leaving I was so touched when he presented me with a rose he had picked from the garden – until Tony told me that their well had recently collapsed burying their water pump and they told Tony they couldn’t afford a buy new one. In sympathy Tony paid them twice what they asked for our stay – hence the rose!