I slept well again last night and had a great breakfast this morning before we set out on the road again. I fell asleep pretty immediately, as did many others I later discovered, and I opted not to get out at the first 'learning stop' of the old underwater irrigation system. I think I will survive without that 15 minute education; the volcano-like structures that housed the irrigation access points were fun to look at, however.
I put on Lyle Lovett while I dozed, the scenery reminiscent (I can imagine) of parts of Texas, so very apropos. We drove to the town of Tinghir, home to many abandoned mud brick buildings overlooking another date palm oasis. Lovely. Tinghir is also the gateway to the Todra Gorge, a breathtaking cut through the mountains along a lovely river. We walked the ~200m path along the water, marveling at the cliffs high above. The tranquil atmosphere was broken, unfortunately, by the unrelenting sales pitches of the mobile vendors who leeched on to individuals and followed them the entire way offering (they said) unbelievable deals. I could have done without that. But otherwise it was lovely!
Lunch was a simple affair in a small cafe run by a very pleasant woman. It was tasty and filling and quick, allowing us to get back on the road in less than an hour. We pressed on, most of us dozing on and off, pausing for a photo stop at another oasis closer to our destination.
We arrived in Ourzazate, Morocco's answer to Hollywood, at about 4pm and had a few hours free before dinner. I skyped home and caught up on email and internet and did some research for future travel. Don't you find that when you travel and talk to people that you come away with a dozen more ideas of places to go? This has certainly been the case on this trip with some well-traveled companions with great stories.