This week the theme for The Gallery on Tara’s Sticky Fingers Blog is “Water”.
A few years ago, a bunch of us went on a trip to Morrocco. I imagined a trip mostly wandering through the streets of Marrakech, eating lots of spicy and Frency influenced cuisine and then spending the evenings in the big square Djema-El-Fnaa; which is exactly what we did.
One particular day, however, our lovely Riad owner (Riad’s are like small boutique hotels very common throughout Marrakech, usually very homely looking and typically compromising of an internal courtyard and rooms surrounding it, keeping it all very cool and airy) suggested we may want to vist the Atlas Mountains.
“Umm, no thanks. It sounds gorgeous but we don’t have any mountain climbing gear with us. Besides, I’d probably slip and crack my head open.”
The friendly Riad owner insisted we could pretty much wander around the “lower levels” (there are 7 in total), and we’d be prefectly safe, yet get to see some of the valleys at least. After a bit of umming and ahhing we agreed and decided we could soak up the views if nothing else.
So off we went the next day and were allocated 2 guides (who looked suspiciously like local lads!) and drove about 45 minutes to outside Marrakech to the valleys leading to the Atlas range.
The valleys are where the Berber community reside and alot of them live in homes built in and around the valleys and Mountains. Equipped with our 2 (local lad) guides, we discovered the valleys were filled with flowing streams and found out that the reason there were 7 levels was because there were 7 waterfalls! I was also surprised to see this was a hotspot for family days out and people came to cool off from the city heat, get a bit of fresh air and have general paddle in the water.
The waterfall at Level 1 was impressive for something, I presume, was the baby of the 7 waterfalls.
We only managed up 2 levels before the valley and rocks started looking steeper and not something I would ever be able to climb in a combination of flip flops and trainers I normally used to lounge in!! Apparently the waterfalls got more and more spectacular as you got to the higher levels, but alas that is something we’ll just have to visit one day.
But my absolute favourite bit….
This is a Berber fridge! It was a little shop set up halfway through the valley selling cold soft drinks and bottled water. If you look closely, there is a little sprinkler system over the bottles, powered via a hose pipe directly through the free flowing streams. This little irrigation system exists, apparently, in some of the homes situated in the valley that may not own an electric fridge. We were so impressed and ooooh’d and ahhhh’d and then took lots of snaps of it.
(A few seconds after we moved on, I turned around to see another bunch of tourists doing exactly the same thing. The cynic in me thinks maybe this was a deliberately placed little attraction. But still. Impressed me!).