Today we spent 8 hours (8 hours!!!) driving into the desert to stay with Lahcen's extended family and talk to them about his late grandfather who had been a story-teller in their village. Lahcen says the drive will take 3 hours. Around the 5 hour mark he tells us a story about driving with his father a long distance and his father telling him 'If we don't arrive today, we'll arrive tomorrow'. I think this might become a motto.

The reason it takes so long is partly because we have to go over the mountains - the perilous Tchika - which used to terrify Lahcen as a young boy. Noah doesn't seem fazed but he is mostly clamped to my breast to try and keep him asleep (having promised to provide us with a car seat our friendly car hire man never re-appeared so Noah is on my lap for the duration). When even the breast won't pacify him we resort to James Blunt - which we discovered has a strangely soporific effect on him and brought with us (a CD not the real person) expressly for that purpose. Now whenever I hear James Blunt I will picture the winding passes and stunning views over the Atlas mountains.

Finally we arrive and the welcome is all the more sweet for the long journey preceding it. Couscous, tea, a beautiful room in which Will, Noah and I are staying and a much needed shower! We arrive empty-handed (a huge faux-pas in Arab culture) but it is so late we can barely stagger from the car to the house as it is. So tomorrow we will make good and buy food for lunch.