One morning we took a walk with Hamid through the area by the river cultivated by the local communities. Each family had its own date palms and parcels of land where they grew olives, vegetables, maize and pomegranates as well as alfalfa which they used to feed their livestock.
Along our way we passed a traditionally dressed woman riding on a donkey; she stopped in the middle of the river for the donkey to have a drink. It was an excellent photo opportunity but Hamid quickly warned me she would be very displeased to have her picture taken. All the women we met were greeted by Hamid but there was no conversation and no chance of taking photos. It was very different when we met the men folk. Hamid knew them all and they were keen to pose for photographs. We were even offered a donkey ride. I took one look at the spindly little animal and felt my weight would be just too much for the poor thing.
Our walk with Hamid was a long one – 7k. We had to cross the river twice and we used bamboo as walking sticks to judge the depth of the water (which turned out to be was no more than knee deep) and was very refreshing for our hot feet. We ended our walk at the next village where we were invited to look inside Hamid’s friend’s house. It was a two storey dwelling made of mud bricks and over 100 years old. We took the Berber bus back to Meski.