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Published: April 29th 2009
BRIBING THE MULE
"Please be gentle", said Lisa, Francine, Angie and Caelen
DAY 10 --SORRY OUT OF ORDER DUE TO LACK OF INTERNET ACCESS-- OR BECAUSE WERE BLONDES ON HOLIDAY--TAKE YOUR PICK
Today we journey over the spectacular Tizi nTichka Pass (2260m) to the scenic Toubkal National Park about a 5 hour journey. We are leaving the area of the Kasbahs and the Sahara and passing over the desolate high altitudes of the Tichka, before traversing some lush valleys and winding our way to the end of the road at Imlil. We store our large packs and take day bags up for the night in the peaceful village of Aroumd. In order to get up to the Mountain Home (Gite) we load our gear onto mules and hop a ride up the steep and winding terrain of the mountain. The mules are used to the travel but we are not and there walking on the edge of cliffs is a little unnerving. Francine's fear of heights has been severely challenged on this little excursion. She is facing her fears, there are more heights to come. She has perfected the art of deep breathing whilst keeping her eyes shut. Angie was sure her mule had a suicide wish as it hugged the steep
edges of the cliff paths.
The paths wind up through the mountain. We can see the snow capped mountains in the near distance. There are crops being grown in tiers along the mountain side, goats and sheep being herded and of course people selling their wears. We venture past small homes and to the village on the mountain side where we are spending the night.
Our home tonight is a pleasant surprise and is quite homely. Two dorms with mattresses and bedding on the floor one for the men and one for the women. This is our first shared accommodation.
We have breakfast on the large open air veranda we can see North Africa's highest peak - Mt. Toubkal. A beautiful snow capped mountain top.
Next is the trip back down the mountain on mule. More precarious than the previous days adventure. We are shown how to hold on tight as the mules negotiate their way through the rocky ground. Francine begged to get off and walk but was told all is ok and of course it was. Angie was glad that she had good range of motion in her upper body as the turning halfways
around to grip the back of the saddle and hold on to the front- Thanks DR.BOB. was not an easy task. The downhill was very hard on our knees even though we were not walking it made no difference. The pressure to lean back and balance was streesful on the knees.
We now head off to the beach.
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