Down The Road

I left Tata early, around 6:30 AM.  

Wiki says, and it is accurate:

Tata (in Berber : ⵟⴰⵟⴰṬaṭa) is a town in south-western Morocco with a population of 15,192 according to the country’s 2004 census. It is the largest town in Tata Province.[1] It is situated on a desert plain of the Sahara Desert, southeast of Agadir and Taroudannt, close to the Algerian border and the mountain range Anti-Atlas at the foot of Jebel Bani. Tata lies on the N12 highway between to the north-east of the regional capital Guelmim and to the south of the neighboring region of Drâa-Tafilalet. It is also near to Algeria, although due to the remoteness of the area there is no border crossing.

I say:  It is desert and it is remote.  Very remote.  Perfect, I say, versus the hustle and bustle of Casa and Marrakech.  In the occasional oasis towns I was more likely to see a woman walking alongside a donkey that was hauling alfalfa or olives than another vehicle.  No tour busses out here, not even the 4WD excursions for intrepid travelers.  Many wild burros or jackasses, once in a while I would see a herd of goats and a shepherd.  But mostly nothing.  

I thought about the dependability of the car, how much emergency cash I had, who and even if someome could repair the car out here. Even the most basic parts would be 100+ miles away.  

I sighed.  “I will make it safely, inshallah”.


Nice road, usually, traveling about 50-60 MPH.  Then hairpin turns in mountains that required shifting into first gear.  Just desert and an occasional oasis.  But mostly it was wild, rocky desert with no one around except near the oasis. Otherwise, nobody.  There were times I did not encounter an oncoming vehicle for 30 minutes.

Ahead I saw a cloud of dust, then two moving animals.  Wild burros.  They were sparring, one dominating the other.  I slowed because if I hit one and damaged the rental car, I would be SOL in the middle of nowhere. No repair shops, no tow trucks.  Nothing but rock and a ribbon of a road.


The burros did not see me as I slowed to a stop.  One was chasing the other directly towards me.  They did not see me until they were 30 feet from my windshield.  Suddenly the one being chased skidded to a abrupt stop on the pavement and wheeled around to face the persurer.  Both were up on their hind legs as they jousted – biting, kicking.  One had numerous open wound bite marks on it’s neck and definately looked as though it had lost more than one battle.  

Further along I saw a wild camel, then another, but is was mostly wild burros.  And lots of rock.  There were places in the mountains where there were thousands of wild olive trees.  Palm trees filled the valleys where there was an oasis.  

With the ipod on shuffle and he cheap car stereo blasting, the following song popped up.  I replayed it four times, added it to my favorites playlist and continued to drive.

Well, It’s Down The Road I Go



And I got those worried

Lonesome homesick Jones

Way on down the road

Well, it’s down the road I go

Well, I got the blues

From way down in New Orleans

Way on down the road

And I got to be so far away

Oh, don’t you see

All our memories, dreams and reflections

That keep haunting me

Well, it’s down the road I go

And I hear those gypsy voices

Calling me way on down the road

Well, I got to be

So far away in my memory

Dreams and reflections come on

Keep on back haunting me

Well, it’s down the road I go

Well, I got the blues

From down in New Orleans

Way on down the road

Well, it’s down the road I go

Well, I’ve got the worried

Lonesome homesick Jones

Way on down the road

Way on down the road

Oh, down the road

Way on down the road baby come on

Way on down the road

Trying to find my way back home

Trying to find my way back home

Further on down the road

Trying to find my way back home

Further on down the road

Down the road of peace

Down the road of peace

Down the road of peace, baby

VAN MORRISON

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