Skoura - On holidays at last

Honey Mooney HB-DVN
Flemming and Angela PEDERSEN
Mon 24 Sep 2007 22:00
The owner of Hotel Sawadi is a most ‘sympathique’ Frenchman called Philippe who bought the property, which includes a farm, just a few years ago.  This is the low season – and Ramadan to boot – and we were his only customers for the two nights we stayed there. Our room was lovely and spacious and we had the garden and swimming pool to ourselves – bliss!
It happened to be market day in Skoura, so we drove back there, following the white dots with green arrows this time, stopping on the way to give a lift to a couple of women.
Unlike in Marrakesh or Fez, the locals don’t try to hassle you or sell you anything.  We wandered past colourful stalls selling anything from tin pots to vegetables to spices and stocked up on a kilo of dates for 10 dirhams (1 Euro).  We spotted our host Philippe buying wood for construction purposes.  Unlike the locals, he didn’t mind us taking a photo of him.
But not all the locals refuse to have their photo taken as we were about to discover.  On our way back to the hotel, we stopped the car and went for a walk in the palmeraie.  I was about to take a picture of Flemming when some young boys appeared and insisted on being included in the photo.  They then crowded round the digital camera to see the result.
The early morning is cool and temperatures drop quite quickly after sunset at around 6:30 p.m., but between those times it’s a scorching dry heat – a good excuse for a siesta after lunch in the shade.
As the sun sank low enough for the light to be good, we strolled around the garden to the stables where the goats, donkeys and chickens were to be found.
When we sat down to dinner, we saw that a single place had been laid at the next table. Our waiter, Manour, confirmed that it was for Philippe so we asked him to tell Philippe that we would be very happy if he would join us.  Philippe was delighted to do so and we had a most enjoyable dinner, swapping stories of our travels with his own adventures.