Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Paradise Valley

When I woke up the sun was shining after a few days of raining, and I thought that today is one of those days when you just have to do something special. So me and Rachid took off to Aourir, Banana Village, where we cought a "transit" to a place called Paradise Valley. The road followed a narrow ad winding (but paved - thank God) road through lush, rounded hills.

The first village we came to was called Alma, a tiny place that mostly resembled a ghost town with its unfinished buildings, dark glassless windows and almost no people in sight. Small stalls with fruit, potteries and giant fossiles were scattered along the road. Outside the village the scene opened up to higher mountains and deeper valleys.

The second village, called something like Tamzergant, was another small one, but this one was surrounded by a jungle of tall palmtrees, nourished by the green/turquoise waters of the river that ran through it.

A little further outside the second village the road side was covered in dark mud, small stones and rocks that had fallen from the mountains during the heavy rainings this past couple of weeks. Apparently this happens every rain season which can't be too encouraging if you live around the place. I wouldn't want to be the one who got a rock in my head.

Our destination was marked with Sentier Pédistre, Taghrat - Valleé du Paradis some 50 minutes after we had left Aourir. We walked down a rough path until we reached the river - which we of course crossed with our shoes off and bare legs. I felt a bit like Indiana Jones. So, once across the river (which at that part wasn't deep at all really, I just wanted it to sound more exciting than it was) we walked upstream through a forest of palm trees and olive trees. Here and there we encountered a tiny farm with a tiny banana plantage.

We followed the nearly invisible paths until we saw the terrain open up on the other side of the river. This one would be more difficult, I decided, and took my shoes off once again. The current was stronger here, the water deeper and the bottom covered with slippery stones. But at that time I feelt invincible, like Tarzan's Jane, and I plunged into the river - carefully mind you - and found myself unhurt and pretty dry on the onther side.

Eventually, after having walked through the gorgeous forest with the mountains towering above us and a couple of more tiny streams to cross, we ended up in a clearing on the riverside rocks (which we had to climb down, but then again, Super-Maria can do anything, anything!). We rested there then, on the cliffs right by a pool where the river water was resting after its long journey from the mountains. The water was clear greenish/turquoise and there were a few other people enjoying this wonderful place. I was going to swim, but then the sun went behind the clouds for a few minutes and the water looked just freezing, so I decided against it - this time.Marginaljustera
Then the sun started to set behind the mountains and it was time to head back to the road. With a few arguments along the way we of course got lost in the hillsides and reached the road just as the last transport left the parking. Great - now we were in the middle of nowhere, it was getting dark and we had no idea how to get back to Aourir. We decided to start walking and hope to get a lift by someone that would drive by, but the traffic was close to non existent in this part of the country. Eventually a nice French dopehead and his dog spotted our desperate outstretched thumbs and picked us up. We got a lift to a small camping where he was going to meet up with his other nice French dopeheads. So there we were on the roadside with our thumbs sticking out again.

Next truck that stopped was driven by a nice local and his friend that took us all the way to Aourir where we could then get a taxi back to Taghazout. It was pitch black by then, my thighs were sore from the climbings, my feet, head and tooth hurt and I was in a mighty bad mood. But all in all, it was a wonderful day!


1 comment:

Rachid said...

It was an adventurous day indeed, and I'm sorry that I took the most difficult way on our way back home ; ) I love Paradise Valley and I hope we'll go again soon, maybe with a tent and camp for a couple of days?