Another weekend, another adventure!
For Rachelle’s birthday, a group of Americans and Moroccans went on a camping/hiking adventure to Ouzoud, a beautiful series of waterfalls located East of Marrakech. Being from the Pacific Northwest, Robert and I LOVE these sorts of excursions—and we’ve definitely missed them a lot! (Our marriage proposal moment was during a camping/hiking trip. That’s how much we’re into it!)
Ouzoud is SPECTACULAR. We descended down a rocky path, past palms and olive groves, to the foot of the falls. There, we set up camp under a drapery of rugs and Amazigh print fabrics. Cozy and cool.
Wandering around the shaded waterfall bottom was a welcome break from the summer heat. We drank strong tea and ate Amazigh omelettes (heavy on the tomatoes and delicious). Some of us swam. Some of us played guitar and sang. Some of us chilled and chatted. Some of us fell down 15-feet waterfalls. (Everyone survived.)
At one point, during lunch, a man saw one of our Peace Corps t-shirts and asked, “ntuma mutataw3ian?” (“You all are volunteers?”) Turns out, he’s met many generations of PCVs who’ve wandered down into the caverns of Ouzoud before! He took us into his snack shack and showed us this mural:
Towards the evening, we split up into two teams—Team Snack and Team Fire. Team Snack (my people) trekked back up into town to grab cookies, chips, ice cream, and one member of our team who arrived late! Team Fire built us a roaring bonfire in front of the waterfall.
Camping in America is super regulated. You buy a lot to pitch your tent, and there are tons of rules. And there are constant burn bans. At Ouzoud, it was so easy. We asked if we could make a fire—and they were like SHRUG! That would never happen in the states. It was amazing!
When we gathered together again, we dug into fire-roasted tagines under the stars and cascades. The more musical members of our group began serenades. It seemed to me in perfect harmony with the crackling of our fire and the quiet roar of the water.
The next morning, we packed up to go to the birthday girl’s site, a little town a busride away from Marrakech. As we were leaving, we made friends with some little Amazigh girls.
Then, after some transportation adventures, we trekked back to Rachelle’s wonderful home. A shower on the roof. Milkshakes. More music. More laughter.
We couldn’t think of better people to have this adventure with. We feel so lucky to have made such amazing friends here, both Moroccan and American. Adventure is all about exploring exciting new places and experiencing exciting new things—but sometimes, it’s the people you’re with who are truly the heart of the adventure. 🙂