Having filled up and found our way to the road for Ouarzazate, everything fell into place. Easy driving, even on the hairpin turns into the High Atlas. The main danger was men and boys holding fossils out by the side of the road, beckoning us to stop and then, some of them, running frantically after the car. Why? In case we have a sudden change of heart? In case they can actually catch us?

In fact I did want to stop to see exactly what these geodes contained. Some flashed with an altogether absurdly bright metallic orange like no mineral I had ever seen. One thinks of bichromate, but much more reflective. Others were the refractive green of a scarab’s back, again wholly unnatural.

After some hours we found our turning to the famous kasbah at Telouet, 20 km off down a mostly good sealed road. You get no hint of the kasbah as you arrive, just a very nice Berber guide called Issia. He showed us where to park then took us to a wonderful little place where we passed through to an interior courtyard and sat, recuperating and rehydrating beneath a tatty Berber tent. Brochettes and frites -- but what frites! -- with no vegetables and no salads available, not even for ready money. It took forever, which was good as it enforced a rest, and then off we went to the kasbah.

The approach, ramparts, gateways and empty rooms were all more or less as I am coming to expect. Beautiful views down through the grilled windows onto the green crops below and the village beyond. The showpiece of Telouet, though, is a couple of large rooms that remain decorated with intricate eightfold tile work and stuccoes, and they were spectacular. Hardly restful though. Or maybe the pattern becomes restful once you have been there long enough. Indeed, says The Squeeze, that's how it functions. It is supposed to allow you to think about God or higher powers instead of a person or a cat or flowers. She may well be right.

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