After 2h delay, the journey starts towards Taliouin village, on friday 5th, 2014. What to say about the road? Very hard and definitely makes you dizzy and tired. The village is 45 Km from the city of Ouarzazate. The road has no asphalt. It is a side road. It was about sunset, it was beautiful. We made a stop right after we went outside the city to pick up some passengers leaving to the same destination. The car is full inside, 13 passengers. And 4 went up to the top of the car, because it was hot inside. Women in the front with the driver and men at the back and up. Everyone is discussing something while I am writing these words.
In the middle of nowhere I saw a green area, I was surprised. Since it is a desert, and it was a hot summer and the region knows less water/drought.
The driver stopped to talk with another driver coming from the other side, it happens that he is my friend’s father. I was smiling. Who taught I would see him here. I was laughing in my mind.
They talked and laughed, then said goodbye. We continued the road. The sun is gone and it is getting dark. Still everyone is talking and discussing. Some are talking about water, marriage, some are silent, looking out the window and enjoying the beautiful view. I got a good feeling. I was excited, because I was traveling to report about a festival.
I told my friend while we were waiting the driver to pick us up, ” it seems women from this village are very active and energetic than men” I said, and she laughed. Seems it is an agreement of what I have said from her part.
Long dusty road and wide landscapes laying ahead of us. We drove for almost 20 minutes. I noticed that Phones are ringing all the time. The driver’s phone never stops ringing. He must be well known at the village or probably he is the only one who takes everyone to the village back and forth.
I was very tired but I tried not to sleep to finish these words and enjoy the ride. There are 4 long chairs inside the car, I was sitting on the third with my friend and a men, who was silent most of the time. I looked back and Ouarzazate is gone, like it never existed. The road keeps going forward as if we are heading to the mountains.
The driver’s phone is ringing again. It was a client maybe, Cause the driver only said two word: ‘hello, ok’
He is a good man, serving everyone as much as he could and does not make anyone sad. Maybe that is why he receives that load of calls.
The car is going up and down, left and right, a long hard dusty road. The dust is entering from the windows and small wholes of the car. It was a bit cracky, but still holds it self together. The car’s lights are turned on at this moment. It was almost dark. But you can still see two green areas. I was wondering who owns them and if there was really enough water in this desert which i like to call ” the middle of nowhere”, because there are no signs, no road light, to signal towers, nothing. Only the long hard dusty road.
I looked back again to see the city of Ouarzazate. And yeah. I could see the city or rather the city street lights, because we were on a high hill at that moment.
Everybody looked outside the window and I was curious, so I looked as well. I was surprised. That was a sign that I saw, it was build on a 1.5m by 2m wall.
Men were quiet but women were still talking about food, actually about the last festival which I enjoyed so much, the local traditional cuisine. They were laughing and remembering the good moments about the festival. They enjoyed it as well.
I was thinking about those who are riding with us but they are not with us inside the car, those who are riding on the top. Are they enjoying the ride? Are they okey? Are they talking about something interesting? Do their phones ring most of the time as the case here inside? So many questions bumping inside my head, but I couldn’t answer any of them.
It has been almost 40 minutes now and we have not got there yet. I was excited to know how the village looks like? Is it a desert or is it a beautiful green village with water everywhere? I was curious. We still can see the mountains, they are so big; and the sky is all dark and blue on the sides.
My friend maybe was very bored. She is playing on her phone. Well she has to be, cause I am writing these words, but i talk to her from time to time to get some info.
I was thinking that when I get there I will just sleep, because I have work the next day. A big day at the village. They are having a festival. Ahouash bands from the neighboring villages will attend. I was very excited about it. I love Ahouash. It is the music that iI first knew. It is the music of my village and the one I will play in my wedding one day.
The chair I am sitting in is very silent. I am writing, my friend is not sleeping but only looking out the window and the men is just silent not doing anything. He was looking at the window from time to time.
“It is almost an hour fifteen minutes now,” she said answering me after she checked her phone to make sure.
I saw a light, that must be the village.
Though I don’t know where we are exactly. I only know that this is the middle of nowhere.
Then my friend said “I guess we still have half an hour”, and I said in my mind” then the light I saw is not the village light. It is probably another village’s, not the one we are traveling to. Seems Taliouin is still far, but then I heard a women saying ” that’s the village light!, I was happy. I was not wrong, the lights were just far.
It was dark, but you can still see 5-10 m ahead and the lights from far.
Though I was tired, I was happy. This was a unique experience. First time I travel that long on a side road. I felt the cold breeze getting from the window. It was awesome. I was thinking about something to write, you know, something new to tell you, I had no idea. Nothing was happening beside what was happening from the start, everyone is talking except some. The driver’s phone as always is ringing almost every five minutes or so. It was so dark outside and a bit cold.
As we are getting closer the road is getting bumpy. Going in a never ending up and down.
After a while it started to get nicer, and there you go a huge metal sign at the top of a valley. We are going down the valley, the driver said that the valley road gets very slippery when it rains or if there was water in the valley, before he received a call again.
The road continuous in the middle of the valley, before it finished on the other side of the valley.
The moon light lighted up the hills, we were going slow looking for someone who has called the driver and asked him to wait.
Nothing found yet, everyone is asking where that person is. They are trying to call him back; And there is the good news. He is still ahead of us, we havent reached him yet. First old fallen apart house appeared. We are almost there.
An hour an a half passed. We stopped to let a car pass first cause the road was small.
The car went and the engine started to finish what is left from the road.
There is the village. There is Taliouin. There is where the party will be, there is where fun and joy will be, there is where the Tamount festival is going to be. Tamount which means being together/togetherness.
A sign saying 3km left. The road has many turnings, left and right.
Those people are just great. All that road to get back to their home and visit their families. I am very impressed about the driver who everyday goes twice or three times back and forth to the city of Ouarzazate. I am wondering in what situation the villagers will be living in? Do they have farms?
I smelt a good smell, and i kept looking at the village lights. It is getting nearer and nearer. I was very hungry and thirsty. Then we stopped down a hill. The driver went out to check on the passengers who are riding on top. Someone else went up to the top of the car. It was another passenger or maybe the person we were looking for.
It was a short moment and we arrived to the village. We stopped again and a women gets down to deliver a bag to a family living at the beginning of the village. She came back and we hit the road again.
I see people from the village, electricity cables, a valley, and people again. Driving by the houses and passengers started saying names of those families living in those houses and places. It was awesome, and then we arrived . A huge amazing stage. Very lighted. Technicians checking everything for the big day, the next day, saturday 6th, 2014.
The banner says “The Taliouin, Igernan people are welcoming the Tamount festival guests”. A picture comes to my mind at this moment. I have seen this somewhere, the stage and banner picture somewhere. It was last year with my friend Yassin, while we were going to organize a festival.
It is cold here and I am only wearing a T-shirt. Flags, tents and lights everywhere. We went to a room inside a house behind the stage. The windows of the room we are staying in have a view to the stage. The room was full of females and I am the only male.
It felt great when we arrived to the village. Everything was vibrant. Kids were dancing to the music. I was very hungry waiting when to get food and start eating. I don’t think you want to know what we had, but yeah, the food was very delicious.