Friday, February 24, 2012

Rainbows and waterfalls

Sounds kind of too good to be true? Well, that's because you're not in Morocco. On our drive into the haut (high) Atlas yesterday, we went to Ouzoud, a beautiful waterfall in a lush valley in a red clay town that's picture perfect. To be honest, I didn't think it would be worthy the two hour drive. After all, I've seen plenty of stunning waterfalls before, and looking at pictures, I wasn't too excited about this one.

The drive alone was worth it. Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 5.04.11 AM
Look at those beautiful snow-capped mountains! And the falls! Boy, was I wrong. Pictures just don't capture the true majesty and grace of this spectacular spot. It's overwhelmingly stunning - and due to the lack of guard rails, you can really get up close. The cascade (waterfall) is so, so tall. Vibrant green moss the color of Ireland covers the clay behind the water.
Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 5.03.09 AM Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 5.03.34 AM Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 5.03.22 AM
And yes, that is a rainbow. It's not photoshopped, it was out when we arrived at the falls. Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 5.02.50 AM
You can hike down one side of the waterfall and up the other, and I heartily recommend it. We had lunch at this spot halfway down, where tagines are being cooked and you look at each and select the one you want. Fast food, Moroccan style. Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 5.03.42 AM Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 5.03.53 AM
At the bottom, the view was even better. Then we crossed a rickety old bridge so that we could ascend the other side of the falls. Reader, I'm not going to lie to you. I was petrified in crossing. I did not want to trip and be washed away into the lower falls...but it all worked out OK. I thought, if Idriss's mom is game, I have got to get on with it. At the top on the other side, you reach peaceful olive groves and have a stupendous view of the canyon. Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 5.04.03 AM
All in all, a wonderful trip. Ouzoud has many villas for rent as well as a riad, so maybe next time we'll stay a few days. The only downside is that I didn't get to see the monkeys that hang out there (apparently they move around a lot). Next time, I will be sure to hang out until I get a picture!

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