Morocco: my hike at Tafraoute 9


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By Katie

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This is me setting off with my mum on a walk. It was 7 hours long. We took some oranges, water and suntan lotion. My mum had a map. We didn’t get lost.

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It was 3km to Agard Oudad and a man who lives in the village called Mohammed showed us the way. There is a famous rock that’s called Napoleon’s Hat. Mohammed has grown up children and 10 goats.

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We stopped at the argan cooperative first. 10 women work there. They work 10am to 6pm but not on a Sunday. Mum bought some argan oil (helps with wrinkles and dry skin).

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The woman in the shop called Aisha was separating the inside of the nut from the shell which is going to make argan oil. She said it takes a week to crack the shells of a kilo of nuts.

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I asked if I could help and try to crack and separate the nuts. They crack the nut with a stone. It’s hard to do. Aisha showed me how to do it.

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We stopped after about an hour at some tents in the middle of nowhere. You can sleep and eat there. There are very cool toilets. There is a kettle attached to a string over the sink. You put water into the kettle and then it comes out of a tap attached to the kettle. We had a mint tea and a biscuit.

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An artist from Belgium painted some rocks 25 years ago and now they are very famous in a Morocco. They used 18 tonnes of paint. I don’t think it was a good idea because if it rains the paint could poison the ground. It looked cool but I preferred the unpainted ones. Mum and I had a picnic.

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This is a squirrel hole. But sometimes snakes are in them so don’t stick your hand down the hole. The squirrels are responsible for planting the argan trees – they hide their nuts and sometimes forget where they are and it rains so the seeds grow.

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We walked for about 15 km. The scenery is beautiful. There are huge hills, they are part of the Atlas Mountains.

After walking for a long time we spotted some towns in the distance. Mum said we had to get back before sunset but she kept taking pictures. But we got back before it was dark, phew.

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On the way back to the campervan we passed a Berber house museum. It was 400 years old. Mahfoud lives there. He was really interesting and nice. He wants to show people what life was like before.

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This is a baby cot. It’s beside the kitchen so that it’s warm. The mum rocked it with a piece of string tied to her foot while she was in the kitchen working. 13 or 14 children was a normal family long ago, now 4 is normal. All the children slept in one room on the floor. They got up at 5am, read the prayer book [Koran] for 2 hours and then went to help with the animals.

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This is the terrace on the roof. They dried stuff and did washing on the roof and the women talked to their neighbours on the next roof.

There is a traditional way to pour tea. Mahfoud made us mint tea, it takes a long time because you put it in and out of the pot 3 times. The sugar cubes are HUGE and Mahfoud called it Berber Whisky. We went back to his house today. I made Scottish pancakes for him and he made some Berber ones for me. And then we had cous cous with other people and I showed them my Rubik’s cube. It was a great day.

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Jen: the traditional Berber house is in a tiny village called Tazekka, a kilometre or so from Tafraoute. Mahfoud Idhihi is an informative and friendly guide (it was his family home) and you can share a traditional mint tea after looking round the house.

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9 thoughts on “Morocco: my hike at Tafraoute

  • Bob

    Nicely told story, Katie. What a fantastic way to meet people and see how they live! I am sure you made a great impression on them.

  • Gabi

    You are all gonna SO miss this life when you eventually have to return to ‘normality’ keep the posts coming. X

  • Sally

    Hi Katie.

    I love your posts! You and your family really inspire me – I can’t wait until my little girl is grown up enough for me to take her on an adventure like this – she’s only two now. When do you think would be the best age to go for it?

    Sally x

    PS – Wish we could get those remote-control, foot-activated cots here. Could have done with one when Saskia (my daughter) was a baby!

    • adamspyro1707

      Hello Sally and Saskia. We met a family the other day who are travelling with two children. One of them is 2 years old. Any age is good but it’s harder when you are a teenager if you have lots of difficult school stuff to do. Love Katie x

      Hi Sally, there are an amazing number of travelling families when you get out there, from born on the road to leaving home. Lots of forums and groups for help and advice too. Parked a little bit along from us is a mum and 3 kids, they are having a ball. Jen xx

      • Sally

        Hi Katie and Jen,
        Wow, maybe I should seize the day! Well, I’ll think about seizing it for a bit and save my pennies 😉 Keep blogging…you guys are brilliant! xxx

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