Wet shoes, God's Bridge, and ganga up close!

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May 8th 2013
Published: May 9th 2013
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We were invited last night to take a trip with the young French couple staying in our hotel. Silvain and Delphine are from Grenoble and are in their late 20s. They have a rental car and were going on a hike to a natural bridge up in the mountains an hour's drive from here, in the Talassemtane National Park. We left around 9:30 and met the guide they had hired at the beginning of the trail. We could go on the mountain trail that came out above the bridge, or the river trail, where we had to cross by wading (we understood we would cross once...hahaha....). We decided on the river trail, and hiked above the Gorge de Farda, then beside the river, then in the river...really in the river....! At times we were thigh-deep in swift currents....The water was cold but not like in the Cascades...

Once the river adventure was over, we decided to go for lunch at a small place, with a panoramic view, that our hotel had recommended, and then drive another 30 minutes to the Mediterranean Sea. All along our route to the trailhead and after, we would come across the strong smell of ganga, which we knew was grown in the mountains surrounding us. We spotted several plants growing wild along the road, but never saw any fields for sure (there were crops being grown very high in the mountains, and we assumed some of them were marijuana). Marijuana is the main export from this region, even though it's "illegal" here.

The town on the sea (Oued Laou) was almost of ghost town, with much new construction and lots of infrastructure: new street lights and trees, an immense promenade with hundreds of parking places along the seemingly endless brown sand beach. Moroccans flock there in the summer months, but there are few people visitng now.

Once home, we had tea on the terrace, showered, Bill found us a hotel for tomorrow night, and we dined on a terrace above the main plaza, across from the kasbah....along with several cats. Walked home after midnight..there were shops still open (bought handmade soaps), and many men in the streets....I don't know when people sleep here....

A great day...thanks Sylvain and Delphine!

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 23


With Delphine and SylvainWith Delphine and Sylvain
With Delphine and Sylvain

Starting out up the gorge...
Garbage pileGarbage pile
Garbage pile

While the water was pristine, there was trash thrown everywhere along the river...

We joked that the shed was a cafe, and our guide told us that actually it was in the summer. In fact there are two cafes up here!
Hundreds of Women in HatsHundreds of Women in Hats
Hundreds of Women in Hats

As we arrived back at the trailhead, dozens of Moroccan women were starting up the trail, most wearing some kind of hat over their head scarves. They were on a field trip with some sort of organization.

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