Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 86 Joyeux Noel

My coastal walk has been a trip through a PBS Nature program and now there's a Christmas special. I've transitioned out of the olive and almond groves into the fringe of the Sahara. Camels have joined the sheep and goats grazing along my path. I've studied the wadis from the inside - some wet, others dry. Weasels are the abundant scurriers underfoot and the rabbits leap above the scrub from the salty holes under the banks. I've never seen such fat foxes, sly and shy as they are.

The further south I walk, the greater the unpopulated distances. I have to take care not to get caught out after dark with no village in sight. So far, I've done well. In larger villages, I stop in to see my friends of the Guard National, though, they fall a bit short of the bar set by the Gendarmarie of Morocco... olive drab uniforms aren't so dashing and they lack the endearing palm-forward salute. Nonetheless, they welcome me warmly, appreciate that I check in - pour votre securitie, Madame - and help me find a suitable place to pass the night. I think they're tired of my jaunts across the wadis and urge me always to stay on the highway, but the highway is not my way, so if they insist on keeping a close tab on me, they have to put out a little effort.

I've reached the last town of size before the Sahara begins in earnest, slowing down just a tad to arrive for Christmas festivities. The language of the group is French, yet no one's actually from France... A priest from Nigeria, another from Uganda; some students from the Ivory Coast, others from Gabon, an assortment of Europeans and some missionaries from far afield. Thirty or so in all. Huh, I'm the only pilgrim : )

Merry Christmas to all!


Jadwiga Pribyl said...

Dear Ann, Merry Christmas to You! You are incredible...:)Jadwiga

rokey1 said...

Merry Christmas travels!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you from snowy Colorado. You're in our thoughts and prayers for a safe journey.

Sheila Phelan Wright said...

Merry, merry Christmas, pilgrim woman! I'm sitting on a balcony in Ocean Ridge FL under the warm sun eating trail mix of delicious chocolate, pecans, dried cherries and pistachio nuts, listening to the ocean waves lap against the shore as the tide comes in. Very far from a desert. Opened some presents and then opened your blog. Thinking of you often. much love and good cheer.


Compostelle 2008 said...

Merry Christmas, may the New Year continue to keep you safe and writing.

Michèle, Ottawa (ON) Canada

Amy R said...

Happy Christmas! But why are you walking south towards the Sahara, though? Can't you continue to hug the shoreline?

Amy in Colorado

Anonymous said...

z rizdvom khrystovym! Sounds so fun!!! Go forth peace andrew watching over you!