We arrived at Ourzazate a small town which was once a Foreign Legion outpost and is also Hollywood in the desert as my films including Gladiator and the Last Temptation of Christ have been made in the area. They even have a film studios which we will visit which houses the plane used in Jewel in the Nile. We found the campsite easily only to find it's back to basics again..smelly toilets and cold showers only!!
In the morning we got our bikes out for our first cycle ride on Morocco and cycled back 20 miles along the main road to a place called Ait Benhaddon which houses one of the most exotic and best preserved kasbahs in the entire Atlas rregion. This is because itt has had money poured into it as a result of being used for scenes in about 20 films like Lawrence of Arabia and Jeses of Nazareth and indeed whilst it is spectaculor it does have the look and feel of a film set. However, once inside it is traditional medieval kasbah with steep narrow sandy streets and not the cleanest kasbah we have been in.
On the ride back a small sand storm developed as winds definately tend to pick up a lot in the afternoons. We struggled agains the wind as it blew us into the middle of the road. We passed a small boy on the side of the road aged about 7 and I said to Peter did you see the lizard he was holding. Peter was adamant it was a plastic toy and rode back to check it out. It wasn't a toy it was his pet lizard and it even had a bit of string fastened to its back leg like a lead so it couldn't escape!! (pic)
The studio visit is a guided toor and our guide took French, English and Spanish visitors around and spoke in all 3 languages. The three quarter hour tour took us round the film sets for the many well known films made ere. In some of the big productions they can have as many as 10,000 extras and obviously films made are made here because of the cheap labour. Some of the sets took 6 months to build for a small scene in a film . Close up the sets are just plywood and it certainly wasn't Universal Studios but it was a good tour (see pics).