Ourika Valley - Marrakesh day 2
With most trips to pastures new it’s sort of compulsory to go on a trip out on the tourist trail. Well, you look at the list of options and it’s a toughie. Marrakech is so close to the Atlas Mountains and the epic Sahara, which to pick....well this time (see I’m not ruling out a trip back) the first trip of the week had to be to the Ouirka Valley!
Located only 19 miles or so out of the hustle and bustle of the city centre, the valley is the entrance to the stunning Atlas Mountains. In the heart of Berber country surrounded snow capped peaks and cafes in the stream....there maybe a song there but we will come to that laters.
The epic Ourika Valley
Our trip was arranged by our riad and was designed for me not to get frustrated by the tourists getting in my photos. It cost the same as a group tour but without lunch included....but our personal guide....winner!
Our guide was from Ouarzurate on the other side of the mountains. Now the day started funny when he announced that he was in the film ‘the tem commandments’....now I am a film fan and I’m sure that a guy of 25 was not part of the Charlton Heston classic film. As we didn’t have access to the internet on the go i could not verify said fact but it did growl away in my head all week! (obviously when we got back to the land of 3g i confirmed that there was in fact a Christian Slater (aka will Scarlet) did a rubbish remake in 2007!)
The tree lined Atlas Mountains
On the journey through the amazing scenery there were many a village with men hanging around in the street and offering their hand to anyone who would pay them some monies. I understand their difficult position in life but its tough seeing this on every corner.
One of the many things that confused me about the Seats in the water... now i am referring to the meandering river through the middle of the valley not small puddles at the side of cafes. Now it turns out that the boundary lines of cafe premises are a little woolly so the river is fair game to extent your floor space! I love the idea of just sitting with a beer in the middle of the river on an old school plastic garden chair.
cafe break anyone?
On route up to the intended waterfalls we stopped at a white villa with a funny smell coming from it. It turns out that it was a natural pharmacy, this meant a mini tour of some smell plants and an explanation of some of the natural remedies. The amount of different ways that tea can be used to help the body out is amazing! We ended up buying some great handcream and even some berber tea! You should try it out assuming you can buy it over in the uk...
When we got in to the village i was assuming that there would be a sign or at least an obvious route up through to the waterfalls...erm no...(if i could do a family fortunes ER ER noise but i can’t) we wandered through a cafe and headed though the stream, then the rocks and then through more rocks ...you get the picture.
Kindly taken by our guide;-)
After a short stop my eyes drifted to the way down....or up as its also know. The only way back that wasn’t were i expected but actually up 4 steps on a metal step ladder and then to be met with a man in wellies. Apparently the wellies give amazing grip on the sheer face he was going to be lifting us up. Being honest we didn’t have much choice so what can you do! Go with the flowwwwwwww
As you can see it was worth the crazy walk just for the amazing skies and views!
This trip had a fair few other giggles like marauding sheep, water features made of coke cans and musicians that wouldn’t take a no. But my fingers hurt!
Keywords: gavin forster photography, marrakech, morocco, ourika, photographer, photography, tourism, valley, visit
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