Ouzoud, Morocco, Africa
Today started off much better than yesterday. After breakfast, we found our tour guide waiting for us in the lobby…early! We got in the van and met the two English girls we would be sharing today’s excursion with. Patty and Kate were from Bristol, and are just travelling around the same as us, trying to find the touristy places. We settled in for the 3 hour drive ahead of us to the Ouzoud Cascades.
We drove for three hours up into the High Atlas Mountains, and never saw a drop of water. Our tour guide told us that it had just rained in the mountains two days before, but you would never know it. That’s what made the Ouzoud Cascades so amazing. When we finally arrived in Ouzoud, we had a 10 minute walk down some steps built into the side of the ledges. The waterfalls were breathtaking. The falls are about 300ft tall and collect in one pool about 200ft down, and then another 100ft drop to the bottom. I was surprised to see that there were not that many tourists in the area.
There were quite a few people swimming in the bottom pool, but most were locals. This included a group of about 10 boys that were climbing the cliffs, and jumping off cliffs of about 75ft into the pools below. Because the cliffs are just made of mud, and not stone, the waterfalls were washing dirt down into the pools and you could not see a thing.I assume these kids have done this for a long while now, but I’m still amazed they never hit a rock.
We all decided to go for a swim as well, but stuck to the small jumps of about 10ft. I have no idea how I did this, so don’t even ask, but when I jumped into the water, I managed to dislocate my left shoulder. That’s not a good feeling. I obviously wasn’t able to use it to swim to shore, so I made it to a part of the water where I could stand up. I looked down to see my shoulder was definitely not right, but since this has never happened before, I assumed it was a dislocation. I decided that I wasn’t going to last the rest of the day like this, so I pulled a Martin Riggs and grabbed my left forearm with my right hand, and threw it toward the sky. It hurt like hell, but it seemed to do the job and putting it back into the socket. It’s still pretty sore now, but I can deal with it. I’m sure that’s a better idea than trying to get help in a Moroccan hospital…yikes!
We swam for about an hour, and then headed about half way up the steps to our lunch place. it was a simple place, that offered two meals, chicken or lamb. We all chose chicken and ended up quite happy. The food itself was nothing special, but the view was amazing! It was from here we were able to watch the boys jumping from the cliffs into the pool. They are insane!
We made the three hour drive back to Marrakech, and since we had some spare time, our guide took us for a personal tour of the Medina, or Old City. It is a maze of shops and tradesmen (blacksmiths, cobblers…etc) and we ended up in a spice shop. Needless to say I was not impressed as we had to sit through a spiel by the “pharmacist” as to what sort of spices and remedies we could buy there. Luckily it only lasted about 10 minutes and we were able to get out unscathed.
The tour ended there and we were dropped off at our hotel. The rest of the night consisted of swimming in the hotel pool, going out for dinner, and then back to the hotel for a couple drinks. Day 3 in Morocco was a huge success! Let’s hope Day 4 can measure up…