Dar Sidi Bounou was not originally intended to be a Guest House. It was gradually built and adapted from a traditional very simple Beldi structure by Nancy and Daoud, employing local material and workers. The Bounou property had been in Daoud’s family for many generations, used for agriculture, until the ongoing drought conditions made that impossible. At present, the only crop is dates from the palm trees.
Wanting to be as ecologically responsible as possible, there is no air conditioning or swimming pool. The facilities are comfortable and clean as possible, but nothing is luxurious. The forces of nature in this dramatically beautiful desert area are relentless and can be extremely harsh. The modern necessities of civilization, electricity, water and communications are available most of the time.
Many locals do not have regular access to them.
Things are fragile, particularly the mud architecture, which is attacked on the outside by sun and wind as well as by the infrequent, but extremely heavy rainstorms … but somehow Dar Sidi Bounou manages to survive. We have some gentle desert dogs, Rex, Cambo and very old Dick Dog, as well as numerous cats and kittens, living here with us. Visiting children delight in getting to know them. They also enjoy the frequent opportunity to join in the music and drumming sessions that occur spontaneously, often after meals.
Nancy, from Canada originally, lives a Nomadic life, travelling between Bounou, where she spends about 8 months of the year, and Norwich, in the UK. Active in the arts all her life, she is a painter, who uses life at Dar Sidi Bounou as her subject. She loves to engage in conversation and is particularly interested in music, history, cinema, architecture and politics… and just about anything else that can be discussed. She finds the wonderfully diverse guests who come to Bounou fascinating.
Artwork by Nancy
Inspired by local peoples activities, festivals and day to day happenings, these paintings have been lovingly produced and are available in postcard format reproductions to purchase at our Auberge.