Piste Berber trip in 4x4
Ourika Valley Travel Blog› entry 3 of 7 › view all entries
February 21st, 2009 – by: hoangn
The 4x4 moves off road onto a dirt track leading up to a hilly area. We take in the crisp fresh and and listen to the silence that surrounds us. We see the clear path of newly built roads, all the hills and natural curves of the region and can even make out a few tiny houses scattered about in the village. We can see the yellow and purple flowers growing out of the grassy field that we stand on and the Grand Atlas in the backdrop of this peaceful setting.
As we head up further into the mountains we start to see Berber villages and Berber people.
We continue the journey and start to encounter very windy scary roads. The roads start to get steeper and tighter and the road is barely visible as you try to turn the corner hanging on to the cliff edge. We see lots of trucks fully loaded with goods and people, some hanging on the roof. They all look like they are heading to the market, which is where we plan to make our next stop. The truck looking unstable and wobbly bravely trudges along using all its might!
The Berber market is chock a block busy. Full of donkey carts, cars, people and stalls all surrounded by a heavy air of petrol fragrance hanging in the air. We are given a whole 20 mins of free time to roam around and purchase some goods. The smell is foul and the ground is a big mud swamp.
I'm ready for lunch so I'm hoping the next stop is for some real food. We are now pretty high up into the mountains where we can see out the window vast areas covered in snow. The gentle lulling of the car sends me into a dreamy sleep. We I awake we are entering the Setti Fatma village, in the Ourika valley. We stop at Le Kasbah de l'Ourika for lunch. First course, moroccan salad, main course lemon chicken tagine and dessert oranges, moroccan buscuits and mint tea. We thought this was a set meal but as we looked around we could see that other tour groups were getting a variety of other dishes. Then we realised that the waiters hadn't bothered to ask us our preference because they didn't speak any English and we didn't speak enough French for them to want to communicate with us. I did feel a little segregated from the crowd but I didn't let that ruin the experience.
Following lunch we head further along the Ourika valley along the river side and heading up higher closer to the mountains. It is a vast valley area with plenty of waterfalls that guides are willing to take you on a walking tour. Over the otherside of the river there are plenty of cafes set up for business. The bridges are made of wooden planks and rocks. These are fairly scary as you can see and hear the rapid river rushing on underneath you. The gaps in the planks few very unstable and it is a bit of a squeeze having two people standing width ways. I did not feel safe at all and I'm pretty sure it was wobbling and vibrating as people where all walking across it at the same time. It was a saturday so the whole valley was filled with people taking day trips from Marrakesh and also lots of tourists. The journey back was much shorter we got back to Marrakesh madness within an hr and a half.
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