Goats Climb Trees – a walk on Morocco’s wild side

April 13th, 2010 in African travel by Sarah Lee 2
Goats. Up a Tree!

I thought it was a great name for a band. Goats Climb Trees would undoubtedly play some sort of indie rock, like Arctic Monkeys. But then our guide told us that in Morocco goats really do climb trees. We made sure we got photographic evidence.

Our day trip had started in Agadir where we were whisked off to see camels and pay anything up to $25 to ride one for five minutes – the guide advised we pay no more than €2-4, but it was the first stop of the day so we were easy prey.

Then we caught sight of the goats – neatly arranged on one particular tree along the entire plain that stretches below Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. OK so the goats looked like they’d picked up their Equity cards at the door, or as if they’d been tied to the trees (not literally mind, but perhaps on the promise of a generous feed from their owners once their skilful performance was over). But this touristy spectacle was well worth paying another €5 just to gaze upon these bovidae wonders.

Next we hit Tarandant – a town with a vibrant souk. I was sure we couldn’t possibly see any more animals, but I was wrong. As a large crowd gathered around a man with a big box he threw it open to reveal a large snake. Then, inside the souk, a man proudly showed off a tiny chameleon sat on his stall. It wasn’t for sale and he didn’t want money for us looking at it. Things were looking up.

Arriving in a Berber village we knew more animals were on the agenda. We stopped for lunch, and were entertained by a group of singers (see the video below), then thrust onto waiting donkeys for a ride to the local oasis.

On our return, each ‘guide’ approached us in turn for a tip – €2-3 seemingly the going rate. Then, just as we turned to leave, one of our group made the mistake of stroking one of the donkeys. As a man held out his hand for a tip we smiled and got into our minibus. Goats up trees is one thing but paying to stroke a donkey would’ve made complete asses out of us.

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