Donkeys of Morocco

20 Aug

Once you stop thinking of Mirleft in terms of streets, and start thinking of it as a desert on which groups of houses are scattered like nomadic tents, you stop feeling lost. You just drive or trot across the open areas from one stretch of track to the next.

The roads being what they are, donkeys are a common mode of transport in Morocco. Some pull carts behind them. Others trot along with clusters of small children on their backs. Others carry panniers or impossibly large stacks of harvested greenery.

I took a lot of photos through our sand-encrusted windscreen during our road trip.

The first time I saw this foal, she was assisting two adults in emptying a bin of its contents and strewing them between the buildings of Mirleft, eating anything tasty that she came across.

The following day, she was tethered to a rock. She was none too happy about it.

There was no food, water or shade nearby – but then, there never is. Even when untethered, the donkeys don’t appear to seek shade, and like the sheep and goats of the area, seem entirely capable of obtaining nutrition from the barren soil.

Up on a clifftop overlooking Aftas Beach is the shell of a disused house. I found a donkey here too – can you spot it?

That’s not a homeless person lying there. The Moroccan climate is such that it is often more comfortable to sleep outside than in, and it is common to see people settling down any old where to snooze away their hours of Ramadan deprivation.

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4 Responses to “Donkeys of Morocco”

  1. Jigme Datse Rasku August 20, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    You know that seems far more civilized than around here. Here it’s more comfortable to sleep outside, but unless you’re on your own property (that is property you own, not where you rent a portion of the property) you are quite likely to get “moved along” if you’re sleeping outside. No matter what the time of day is.

    Of course, it’s very disconcerting if you’re the night manager/night security and you find someone sleeping where they shouldn’t be. And you have to make a decision, do you confront the person, or call the police and have them deal with the situation.

    The question then arises, what if you just let the person sleep peacefully where they are. They’re not hurting anyone by sleeping there are they? Not the guy sleeping by his bike in the picture above. So why not let them sleep there?

    Ah well, we’re often not a very civilized people in the West. Maybe I need to start making boatloads of money so that I can sleep wherever I like, inside or outside. And own my own place so that no one will move me along while sleeping outside.

    • Snailquake August 20, 2011 at 10:55 am #

      That’s true – they often get moved along in the UK too.

  2. SEF August 21, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    Aside: donkey bicycle.

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