We leave early. Just as well as it takes us 6 hours to reach our destination - Beni Mellal. On the way we see a tiny donkey by the road - it could have stepped straight out of the tale we heard last night in Fez. We aim to get there by 11am. As it turns out we arrive at 3pm! Luckily our host - the gentle and gracious Fatima Zahra, an academic at the University of Beni Mellal and expert in story-telling - is not at all put out and provides us with a feast of salad, tagine and fruit. Also a feast of ideas as we delve into the nature of story-telling at a more abstract and theoretical level than before. She argues hard for embracing the 'betrayal' of storytellers and storytelling and says if the art form is to survive we must find a new way to tell. After 3 hours of food and conversation we are stuffed, physically and intellectually, and we continue our drive further south to a Donkey sanctuary just south of Marrakech. But before we leave Fatima gives us the number of a story-teller back in Marrakech who we might have time to meet before we fly tomorrow - his name is Abderahim - the story-teller from the documentary!
After another 4 hours in the car (thank goodness Noah slept literally the entire time) we arrive at the sanctuary at 10pm. It is the first night time driving we have done in Morocco and it's terrifying. But we arrive in one piece to Gin & Tonics on the lawn followed by a 3 course meal. After his 4 hour nap Noah is wide awake and ecstatic to meet no less than 10 different dogs. The house - a new building overlooking a small village in the foothills of the Atlas mountains - is even more grand than Dar Al Khalifa. In fact it's a bit like staying in a 5 star hotel... that is also a family home. But now to bed - it's the biggest bed I've ever seen - before we meet with some Berbers from the village tomorrow and hear their stories.