Maybe this is why I don't care for plans. Things happen, plans change, and when they do, it can be stressful because I feel like I couldn't accomplish what I set out to do. But, it is what it is and we move on.
So my plans have changed. I am no longer going to the mountains - to the village of Imlil. I checked on transportation yesterday and it was sketchy at best. I would have to find a grand taxi heading to Imlil - early enough to get a seat, then wait for it to fill with another five people, then ride for 90 minutes to the destination.
Getting back was the big unknown. The village doesn't have many roads, so the taxis stop at the entrance to town and you have to walk to your riad/hotel. To leave, you have to walk back to the taxi stand and wait for another grand taxi to fill up before it will return to Marrakesh. Maybe I'm getting old, maybe I'm losing some of my adventurousness, but that didn't sound like fun to me.
So, I've checked out of the Hotel Cecil (riad) and into Les Troix Palmiers - a more western-style hotel in the city center. It's still not quite a Hilton, but it's close enough.
I ate lunch at McDonalds where the chicken is advertised as "halal", which means it is approved for Muslims to eat. And, yes, they have hamburgers: I had a royal cheeseburger, fries, and Sprite. It was typical McDonals fare, but everything did have a slightly different taste than I'm used to. On a side note: while there is disagreement on some halal ideals, the animal must be slaughtered while mentioning the name of Allah and - according to some - the animal must be slaughtered specifically by a Muslim. Not sure how McDonalds manages this, but it claims to.
The district is primarily upscale, but I've seen high-end retailers, beggers, small repair shops, and had a latte at Starbucks - all on the same street.
My tired legs are about to fall off, so I am trying to walk less and relax more. I keep forgetting that I'm not the thirty year old energetic man that hiked all over Thailand without breaking a sweat. On the way back to my hotel I passed an ambulance loading up an older European man that wasn't looking so good. I have a long time before that happens, but I'm in no hurry to push my body there.