By the time we arrived at Todra Gorge, after a long and tiring drive through the sandstorms of the south and the touts of Tinerhir, we were both feeling totally knackered. I hadn't eaten properly for three days and was surviving on oral rehydration salts and dried biscuits, and Peta was suffering from the excessive heat of the desert. We needed a break.
This we completely failed to get. Todra Gorge is a pleasant spot en route from the east to the west, and in the 300m-high gorge there's a natural spring, a couple of hotels and restaurants, and a respite from the touts by dint of a Dr5 entrance fee at the end of the sealed road. However all this passed us by somewhat as first me and then Peta felt hot and then slightly dizzy, before we each threw up copiously, noisily and regularly in our hotel. We managed to eat precisely nothing, and lay in sweaty sheets for a whole night, sleeping on and off for 12 hours before the sun rose on another day of hot, slightly swaying travel. Peta felt well enough to drive, but I lost my breakfast to the gorge, and we decided enough was enough, and that I needed a doctor. The only problem was that it was Sunday, and like most of the world, Morocco shuts down on the day of rest.
Our first port of call was Tinerhir, where the pharmacy was shut and the touts couldn't seem to work out the difference between 'doctor' and 'guided tour of the kasbah'. So we struck west along the P31, looking for any signs of pharmaceutical life all the way to Ouarzazate, where we'd been only a week before. Ouarzazate boasts a hospital, but even this was shut, and it took us some time to track down the only open pharmacy in town. It's true the world over, not just Morocco, but if you're going to be ill, the best advice is to try not to make it happen on a Sunday.
Luckily we found a supermarket that actually resembled a supermarket (though it was only a resemblance), so we were able to stock up on comfort food to ease us through our recuperation, because by this time we'd had enough of regurgitated Moroccan food to last us a lifetime. It gave us just about enough strength to get back to Marrakech, where you can live a life of western luxury, even down to the delights of McDonald's and Pizza Hut.
Which helped immensely, I have to admit...