Ait Benhaddou lies at the heart of a former trading route between the Sahara and Marrakesh. It was a major stop for camel caravans carrying salt through the Sahara and returning with gold, silver and slaves. In its heyday, it had thousands of inhabitants, replete with fortified towers and reinforced walls—with guards atop watchtowers. These days most locals, who make a living from the tourist trade, live in more modern homes on the other side of the “wadi”, or valley/riverbed (usually dry, except in winter and spring). Medicines are in scarce supply in this part of the world, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked for antibiotics in preference for money.