National Geographic : 1968 Jun
I do not listen. We pass through village after village without seeking a guide. And then one day there are no more villages, for we have reached heights at which no one makes his home in the Atlas. Deaf to Ahmed's pleas that we turn back, I push on. We climb into the 10,000-foot-high Tizi (Pass) n' Aft Hamad, driving the mules be fore us. They disappear around a bend in the trail. We follow, and there they are, once more belly-deep and motionless in snow (page 873). Ahmed's cries of despair enrage me. Zebra design scores the face of a salt mine near Toumliline. For perhaps a hundred years, villagers told the author, their people have chipped away at the rock salt with primitive picks. Men shed outer clothing to work in the gallery. 868 "Either go back alone or stop howling and help me dig out the mules," I tell him. "My self, I shall cross this pass." Ahmed looks back and down at the savage landscape we have just crossed. Rolling his eyes heavenward, he falls grimly silent and starts digging in the snow at my side. After 10 minutes we have freed the mules. "En avant!" I shout. They step forward and immediately sink once more to their bellies. I am in canvas shoes because my heavy shoes have long since given out, and also, like Postage-stamp fields cling to mountainsides near the village of Hadida. Hard-working Berbers cultivate ever inch of arable soil.