Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place – The Todra Gorge


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Africa » Morocco » Anti-Atlas
September 27th 2011
Published: September 27th 2011
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Now for some dirty talk!
The journey continued through the dusty roads of the desert through the Mid Atlas mountains to the Todra Gorge. That afternoon I went to my first bathhouse to get steamed, slimed with savon noir (palm soap), roughed up by a tabbeya (bath attendant) with a mean kissa (pumice glove), and doused with warm water. All modesty aside, we stripped down to our panties. I joked with my roommate that after this experience we would be friends forever because we shared such an intimate moment. Modesty is something the Moroccan women don’t have when it comes to a hammam. I couldn’t believe the layers of skin that came off my body. I emerged into the warm Moroccan night relaxed, refreshed, 5 pounds lighter and vowing to think clean thoughts kinda - hard since the men are so charming and handsome. Wait until you see their King and then you’ll understand.
Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place – The Todra Gorge
Before arriving to the Todra Gorge, we made our way through green palmeries and yellowish Berber villages until the road was closed in by 15km high walls of pink and grey rock. The Todra Gorge is a massive fault that divides the High Atlas Mountains and the Jebel Sarhro. The approach was thrilling and scary if you looked out the window of the minibus to see the drop below. Still exquisitely relaxed from the Hammam I wasn’t sure if I would have the energy to partake in a 4 hour trek of the Todra Gorge or if I would be able to withstand the heat. Fortunately, I decided to go for it. It was phenomenal! This was an unforgettable experience that has made my top ten list.
Moving on westwards we headed for the movie capital of Morocco, Ouarzazate. This is where Gladiator, The Passion of Christ, Kingdom of Heaven and Babel. We stopped for lunch here before a short drive to Ait Benhaddou, famous for its 17th century Kasbah. We took part in a cous cous cooking class with our host, Action Houssain who has been in many feature films. What a character!
Our longest, but most spectacular drive was six hours, across the High Atlas Mountains via the Tizi ‘n Tichka pass, the highest in Morocco at 2 260m. We drove until the end of the road into the Toubkal region to Imlil.
From here we had a 45 minute uphill walk to stay with a Berber family in Aremd. Jebel Toubkal, Morocco’s highest mountain was in view from our terrace.



Additional photos below
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Time for tea againTime for tea again
Time for tea again

An eleven year old Berber girl who lives with her family in the Todra Gorge prepares a tea for us.
How high can one go?How high can one go?
How high can one go?

We climbed to 1 200 metres!
Return to the villageReturn to the village
Return to the village

Four hours later we returned to the village below with the Todra Gorge behind us once again.


28th September 2011

Wow...I have always dreamed of the Sahara...so happy that this journey is a fulfillment of those dreams for you...love your pictures and the way you admire the "smallest" details on your adventure...and hey, if you're going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place...I'd definitely go for "hard"!!! Keep us informed...it's magic!

Tot: 2.36s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 11; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0408s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb