Today we begin the big journey south; five days through the heart of Atlas in order to arrive at Fez. While having breakfast and waiting for Mohamed, I am surprised to receive a phone call from Brigitte Navas from the Cervantes Institute in Casablanca telling me that the meeting with the Director has to take place tomorrow.
Change of plan. From the Royal Air Marroc offices I confirm my meeting with the IFM for two days later, which coincides with the celebration of the International Day of Dance (for which many different groups are preparing). I buy a plane ticket to return tomorrow on a flight that leaves at 6am for Casablanca, and then 4pm for Marrakech.
I take advantage of the time I have left to enjoy the 4X4 and explore the two ravines that are near enough to be able to return to Ouasassar for the night. The Valley of the Roses offers an unbeatable sight with its endless rose plantations that carpet the ground in full flower. The Valley of 100 Kashbas conserves many impressive buildings in adobe from various centuries past, but sadly many are now disintegrating due to a lack of maintenance of a material that is so fragile....
When I stop for lunch I call the office - there are problems. For the rest of the excursion my head is in other places and Mohamed tries to cheer me up but with little success. Slowly I am getting to like the guy....
I set the alarm on my mobile phone for 4am since I have to board the plane an hour before the flight is due to leave. Mohamed assures me that a minibus will arrive to take me to the airport. I have tried to convince him that since I have already paid for the tour and therefore it will be impossible to refund any money, that he should say nothing to his boss and that we will meet again in 3 days time in Marrakech. But being an honest soul, he has preferred to tell the office and will return the car to them.
No-one arrives at the agreed time, and nervously I have to wake Mohamed up. In 10 minutes he arrives at the hotel and takes me to the airport. We say goodbye without knowing if it will be him or someone else who takes me on the last part of my planned journey after these meetings.
The airport is closed....I never changed the clock on my mobile phone - it's really