0192. Scaling the Cliff (Mor 041—new)

Beni Kheftin Travel Blog

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I get on a van full of elderly bearded gentlemen.  The guy next to me looks warily at my guitar--but the ride is pleasant enough. As soon as we get close to the mountains and I see the first earth colored village perched on a peak with a solemn mosque in the center, I know I've come to the right place.  I get off the van and follow a footpath that weaves its way up the mountainside, past humble little cottages and boys riding donkeys carrying water down the mountain.   Yes, people look at me a bit funny--but when you're exploring an area of fantastic scenery, it doesn't matter--you've got a good excuse for being there... unlike wandering around a scrappy little farm village.

 I pause under a tree to soak it all in--and dedicate a few songs to these rugged peaks.

  A couple shy children stopped by--as well as a young fellow who gave me the full scoop on the difficulties of trying to make a living out in these little villages...

 "I tried taking melons down to Guercif to sell during Ramadan, but the cops took my scale and chased my off... There's no way to make a living here in the village..."

 Yeah... I'd have to agree... it's a great place to visit... but it would be rough to actually try to live off this land... There's a little dry canal that snakes its way down the slope "That water comes from Rchida--and we have to pay for them to release water for irrigation..."

 I continue on... the actual village of Beni Kheftin is a fascinating combination of ancient ruins and homes that are still in use.   They all blend together in a poetic fashion, giving the place a distinct air of mystery... I know there are eyes behind those doors that are watching me, but no one comes out.

Finally, I see a young boy and ask "Which way to Rchida?"  He points to the little mule path up the mountain.

And then I see it--at first all I can see is a cliff with what appears to be a house on top--or maybe it's more than one house.  Anyways, if there's a village up there, there has to be a way up there...

Yes, Rchida is definitely a place that merits discovering...

 

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Beni Kheftin
photo by: nathanphil