Part 2…Sightseeing in Marrakech outside the Medina..A baby…

This camel calf is one month old.  Mom looked proud of her offspring, not seeming to mind when we moved around her to take photos.

As we drove through the beautiful Palmeraie area, it was obvious we were in an upscale area, although all the residences had high walls preventing us from seeing anything but the second floors and rooftops.

Tom and I, near the baby and her mom with the herd owner in blue in the background.

The herd owner couldn’t have been more pleased to share his camels with us.  He suggested this photo for which we’d had no intention of asking. Most followers of the Muslim faith refuse to be photographed.

As I’d mentioned yesterday, there were areas along the side of the side of the road, with several herds of camel, every few blocks.  With herd owners were in attendance patiently waiting for customers seeking a camel ride or an opportunity to take photos.

These appear to be of a different breed as opposed to those we’d seen in Kenya. These single humped camels are referred to as Dromedary Camels,  For more information, please click here.

In a way, it was sad to see, the diligent camel owners waiting day after day for customers in a relatively quiet area while having the responsibility of feeding, caring for and housing their camels at night.  Surely, there is a considerable expense in caring for the camels, leaving these owners at the mercy of the inconsistent tourist trade.

The camels are used to being near humans and are known to be gentle and non aggressive.

As we drove through the area, I kept pointing to the camels along the road, desperately wanting to stop and see them.  Samir reminded me to be patient. Shortly down the road, he’d arranged for an owner friend to accommodate us who was awaiting our arrival.

Much to our delight, we got more than we’d expected…a one month old calf that warmed our hearts bringing memories back to all the babies in Marloth Park.


We noticed the “pads” camels are born with to protect their knees and body when laying or kneeling.  We’d noticed this same amazing feature in zebras with the dark spots on the inside of each leg, to protect the body when lying down.

I felt that same calm wash over me that I’d left behind when we said our goodbyes to Marloth Park, that same calming effect that a love of animals can bring when in their presence.  Even Tom, less visibly enthusiastic than I, became engaged in the baby camel, as well as the mature camels as we wandered around their designated area.


They all seemed content as they lounged in the warm sun.  Camels of this variety rarely live in the wild in Morocco, as they tend to live well in herds owned by humans.

The kindly herd owner guided us to the best vantage points for our photos as shown here today.  It was evident that he took great pride in his herd. We let him know how much it meant to us that he willingly shared them with us.  The token tip we gave him was nothing compared to the obvious pleasure he derived from our appreciation of his herd.

A short time later, we were back on the road for our final stop in our sightseeing day concluding at the Menara Gardens and Pavilion.

Tom called me to come see the baby nursing when I was busily taking photos of the other camels.  It was delightful to see this.

For those seeking a quiet long stroll around a manmade pool and a walk through the orchards (not in bloom at this time), this site would be ideal.  The quiet contemplative location held little interest for us during the hour and a half period we had until we were to meet up with Mohamed and Samir.


Even the one month old baby had a rope around him/her to keep from wandering off. With the attention paid by the mother it appeared unlikely the baby would take off.

Many tourists seeking a quiet spot to walk, unwind, meditate and reflect would find this site somewhat appealing.  With both of us as Type A personalities, it fell short of our expectations and we took no photos during this period.


Nursing, up close. 

With one more stop at the pharmacy before heading to the restaurant, we paid Mohamed for driving and they dropped us off at our chosen restaurant for dinner. By 5:00 pm, we entered the quaint restaurant, Amaia, a cozy, highly rated French restaurant in Marrakech, a #8 in TripAdvisor.com where we search for reviews of restaurants, hotels and attractions.


The baby was nuzzling another adult  female.   As we’ve often seen in nature, the dads have little to no presence in the upbringing of the offspring, although this baby’s dad was in this herd.  This may have been an aunt, a grown cousin or a grandmother.

The reviews wouldn’t have been more on target.  We enjoyed a leisurely quiet delicious meal, easily adapted to my dietary restrictions and befitting Tom’s picky taste buds.  The service was impeccable with a lovely French woman speaking perfect English. 

The mom was to the right of the baby while the playful kissing occurred.

To be safe, we didn’t order ice for our drinks or eat any raw vegetables. We’ll definitely put Amaia on our favorites list as we work our way around Marrakech in search of French or other international restaurants.  We grabbed a taxi after dinner, getting a ride back to the entrance to the Medina, to begin the long trek back home through the Big Square and the souks.


Mom is on the right, as the baby plays with the other female adult.

Reading online at TripAdvisor.com we saw that many tourists also, after a few weeks in Morocco, had difficulty continuing to eat the spicy, although tasty, Moroccan food, especially when they originated from a culture of less seasoned foods, such as us.


The baby, a Dromedary Camel, was stretching after playing.  The single hump seems to be growing more quickly than the remainder of the body.

Overall, we had a very good day.  The sun was shining, the temperature was moderate, we took many photos and we had an opportunity to experience Marrakech outside the wall.  It is an amazing city; modern, progressive, clean and filled with culture.  The locals take much pride in their city, its diversity and its history.  And, so far, this has been the best smelling place in the world!

Camel teeth appear to be more pronounced on the lower jaw.

Last night, Madame Zahra made us another spice-free meal that makes my mouth water mentioning it.  Today, we’ll dine out mid-day and tomorrow we’ll dine in, as we seem to have adopted an every other day, eating out and eating in pattern.  In either case, we look forward to another great meal, now that we’ve worked out the kinks.

Tom’s dinner on Monday night at Amaia, a pork chop (first pork we’ve seen in Marrakesh, other than on a bacon cheeseburger Tom ordered a few weeks ago) and a serving of “chips” as French fries are called in Africa.

Fresh flowers at our table at Amaia.

My dinner at Amaia, a chicken and vegetable stir fry, without soy sauce which contains wheat, unless its the special gluten free variety.  The meal was wonderful.

Tomorrow, we’ll share our story of the “trials and tribulations” of taking prescription medication while traveling the world. 

The first beer Tom drank since arriving in Morocco almost four weeks ago.  He said the brand, Casablanca, was good enough to order a second. Cocktails and beer are expensive in Morocco.  This local beer was priced at US $5.55, MAD $45. 

I don’t drink alcohol due to my way of eating. Instead, I savored these pretty flowers.

Thanks to all of our readers worldwide for sharing our ongoing tales and photos of two seniors traveling the world, doing it “our way,” learning as we go.
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Photo from one year ago today, March 26, 2013:

There’s my guy, on the beach outside of our previous home n Belize, one year ago to the date.  We had a glorious time in Belize once we moved out of the less than desirable  first house after one week to this fabulous location.  For the post from that date, please click here.

Not roughing it…

We aren’t backpackers. We aren’t hikers, mountain climbers, white water rafters or campers. Maybe, just maybe, we’re zipliners. We like air conditioning, iced tea with lots of ice, salad with dinner, fluffy bath towels and 600 count Egyptian cotton sheets. 

Oddly enough, we don’t care for sightseeing.  We force ourselves to go to the Minnesota State Fair, every three or four years, rarely trying any of the overpriced, unhealthy “things on a stick.”  

We seldom go to the movies, instead preferring to watch it later “On Demand” in our own time, sitting in our comfy chairs while enjoying a low carb, gluten free homemade dessert.

But, we do like the laughter of our grandchildren running wildly through our house, the smell of my mother’s recipe for pot roast slowly baking in the oven on a cold day, sitting at the end of the dock watching the bottom feeder fish jump into the air on a warm summer night before the mosquitoes start biting.

We love entertaining family or friends for brunch or for dinner, serving foods we know they’ll like, befitting their “diet of the week” or special dietary needs. We love the ease we feel whether preparing an awe inspiring gourmet meal or simply burgers on the grill.

We love the well-fed and appreciative smiles on our guests faces as they finally go their way, giddy from the copious glasses of good wine, good food and the constant laughter.

We love nature; the cardinal alighting on a branch, the white albino squirrel leaping from tree to tree, a miniature red cedar sapling growing in the stone patio or the spunky yellow day lilies that bloom every year with so little care.

We love the fluffy white pillows created from the falling of fresh snow when we know we can stay inside, feeling that special sense of comfort that we Minnesotans somehow find so familiar and peaceful.

Will we see the Sistene Chapel?  (Last week, a young pop star on David Letterman’s show referred to it as the “Sixteenth Chapel! Hahaha!).

Maybe we will, depending on the crowds, our mood, the weather, the convenience. But, we’ll walk with the locals and their chickens along the road in Tuscany to the outdoor market each day to buy fresh brown eggs and freshly picked brightly colored pesticide free produce. 

No, we’re not backpackers or sightseeing fanatics. We’ll be two 60 something retired people living an ordinary life, that are easily entertained by simple pleasures, many of which will change, many of which won’t be available and many of which will be new or different.

As long as we can breathe the fresh air, be a part of Mother Nature’s bounty, mingle with the people and their way of life, have a comfortable place to sleep and a couple of comfy chairs or sofa, we’ll only enhance the joy we’ll have carried along with us, not in our overloaded suitcases but, in our hearts.