A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive... And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us try then what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.
William Penn

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone...
George Fox

Monday, January 30, 2012


I camped in another olive grove last night, just 30 meters from the train tracks. The engineer must be getting used to seeing my tent. When I packed up at 7:30 in the morning, a farmer was ploughing in the grove with his donkey, and the family was helping him. We wished each other peace as I hiked out of the grove.
After I'd got down the road  a bit, a man named Mohammed and his son, Idil, pulled over to help me out with a contribution and to wish me well, 'for peace and humanity'. Idil caught up with me again a few hours later in Taza, contributing even more. Thank you, friends.
Just before I reached Taza, a journalist pulled over to 'interview' me. He spoke French, and I answered anyway I could, in no language in particular. I don't know if I'll be on the local news (www.ajialpress.com) but it's nice to know a journalist was interested in the pilgrimage.
I'm now in Taza, splurging on a 9 euro hotel room with a shower and hot water, and I've just eaten a nice tajine. I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Update from Oued Amlil

Three days out of Fes and I'm passing through Oued Amlil. I hope to be in Taza by tomorrow.
Early Wednesday morning Olivia and I caught the train to Tangier, where I saw her off at the ferry port. She is now in Seville visiting friends. I caught the next train back to Fes, then spent the night in a palacial suite in a Riad, compliments of the owner, Karim. More on generous Karim and his Riad later. With 'a little help from my friends' I set out from Fes on Thursday, and for the past three days I've been walking about 25 to 30 kilometers a day and 'wilderness' camping at night . Quite a few people have stopped their cars to talk with me about the pilgrimage along the way, which is encouiraging. Time to get going again. Inshallah!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Convalescent Leave with Max

Olivia and I arrived in Fes on adrenalin and faith, then quickly succumbed to illness and exhaustion. I was also emaciated, trembly and lame; a wreck. I felt that Fes may be the end of the line. But after ten days of convalescent leave with Max and his medicines, his cooking, and casual 'esteja a vontade' hospitality, Olivia and I are ready to go our separate ways, nourished and rested, if a little saddened. Obrigado, Max. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012



A nervous donkey in the tannery

The tannery

The tannery

Rockin the Casbah

The Casbah

The call of the mu'edin at the Casbah

Entering the Medina

The Medina

 The Medina

Thursday, January 19, 2012

For Bntsi Habiba (My Dear Daughter)

My daughter Olivia will be returning to Portugal in a few days, so I'd like to express my gratitude to her now, before she leaves. Throughout the 1000 kilometer journey that we walked together, from Portalegre to Fes, it was Olivia who always kept things together. When I was ranting and raving at the universe for the heavy rain, or the scary drivers, or the cold, or the lack of food or the lack of shelter; whenever I was fed up and carrying on in an angry monologue because of all the discomforts and inconveniences of perpetual, homeless wandering; when I was even on the verge of tears in frustration on one occasion, Olivia was steady, stoical, calm, and reassuring. She was responsible for finding our hosts on Couchsurfing, and she was adamant that we not spend beyond our budget. Olivia kept me in check when I was irrational, and cheered me up when I sulked. 
So again, my gratitude to you, kid. You are tough as nails, and sweet at the same time. I am proud of you, and I love you Olivia. God bless you. 

Just What is Morocco's February 20th Movement?


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

From Meknes to Fes

Near our campsite

Our last campsite before reaching Fes

Olivia, determined

Adding tomatoes to our diet

Said, the restaurant manager at the Oil Libya station who treated us to lunch

Having tea while waiting for Max in Fes


King's palace over the wall to the left, a crowded neighborhood over the wall to the right

Meknes Casbah

On the way to Meknes

Some friends who signed our petitions by the road

The view from the living room

The hanut owner on the left gave us tea, the gentleman on the right is a hadja, a pilgrim who made it to Mecca

The Roman ruins of Volubilis


Monday, January 16, 2012

Oulad Bouteib

Ibrahim and I discussing his future

The esplanada

Ibrahim, his family, and Olivia

I was very hungry

Ibrahim styles my hair in his barbershop next to the café

The café

In the hanoot

Ibrahim and Olivia

To Ouezzane

Andy, a cyclist from New Zealand

At the souk

The river purple-black with olive oil runoff

An olive oil press

The olive harvest