ETA: Oh my giddy Aunt, I forgot about the blog paaardy over at Maison Bentley Style! Ooops sorry, I knew there was a reason I posted this yesterday in preparation for a 9am start this morning but plans turned into going swimming at 9am with the kids etc..etc…Anyway, here I am doing something I would never knowingly sign up for, not even for a dare, nor a bet, no way in fact but I managed – for me – an extreme sport, rock climbing without harness, rope or crampons. I wore only a black pair of Zara trousers, a flimsy H&M viscose tee, Clarks metallic leather flats and a silk Oasis scarf too small to fashion into a sling should any bone breakages occured. Thank you Guardian Angel for our safe return to terra firma! And Thank You to Kate for hosting!
The red hills we saw from afar were now left behind.To be replaced with a river, rocks and boulders. We stopped for lunch, it was really nice to walk across the little wooden bridge and sit at the tables on the other bank shaded by the trees. We’ll save sitting right in the middle of the river bed for next time…I soon put my jacket back on as it was rather cool in the shade where we sat under the trees. The waiters carried the food from the kitchen of the restaurant on one side, across the road, across the bridge to us on the other side.All along the river banks and bed, they set up these little seated areas. We were introduced to another guide who walked us further up the road to another bridge to cross to the other side of the river that led up the mountain to the waterfall.There were souvenir shops all the way there.At the start of a climb there was a little restaurant.The ascent starts in earnest.Which led to another little area of hospitality.At every corner there seemed to be tangine dishes cooking – well it takes about 90 minutes. There were souvenir stalls at intervals all the way up, selling everything we had seen at the market two days earlier even rugs! My Le Monsieur couldn’t help but ask them, ‘You want me to buy this, carry it all the way up and then all the way down again?!!’.Mind the sheep!The ‘path’ was more often much narrower than this. You can see the Shepherdess hurrying down after her flock carrying a massive bundle on her back.We reached a minor waterfall first.And here it is! THE Waterfall! The water was crystal clear.No, not rubbish, the stall holders used the water as a fridge. Whilst the weather was pleasantly warm, the water was freezing! We continued onwards and upwards. I did start thinking my scarf was too small to make a sling and wondering how many of men had belts on for making a tourniquet…. Yes, the rocks were steep and wet! Our Guide stood at the top helping us up one by one. One slip….A slippery metal ladder we had to climb as the rock face was basically vertical. Can you believe it? We didn’t, but we still did it and to this day, I don’t know how none of us had an accident.As close to the source of the waterfall as we got. These photos may help to show the angle of our climb. We continued ever higher.The Guide at the top but at one point, the climb was so tricky my Le Monsieur stood by to also help. The gentleman in the stripe shirt was an elderly Frenchman and he did so well! Apparently our Guide only takes people up once a day. I suppose there were other guides, we passed another group plus random people, and considering the narrow pathways, avoiding overcrowding was the very least they could do.‘The summit!’, the Guide promised at the threat of a mutiny! None of us were prepared for this type of climbing, it was not noted in the brochure or mentioned by any of the guides at any time!Views from the top!Amazing! Not an aerial shot but this really was how high we were. Downwards at last! I’m practising my French with the guide. Swear words! Only slightly easier than going up. At other points along the way down there were steep drops and if any of us had fallen off, there was nothing that could be done. In fact there was no way a helicopter could land to tend to anyone injured and the path so narrow I couldn’t imagine how a stretcher could be carried down.I was telling the Guide how incredibly unsafe the climb was. He kept saying it was ‘just a little walk!’. I don’t know how I didn’t push him off that bridge! Mind the gap!Almost back down to where we started little knowing…The lady in the black skirt wore wedge heels and managed with only minor diffulties at the steepest parts.Finally made it back down in one piece! Just opposite this bridge was the souvenir shop where I looked at an amber necklace at the start. That shop keeper ran to me as soon as I stepped off the bridge with the necklace. All I could gasp was, ‘Did you know what I’ve just been through?!!’.We walked back down to where the bus was parked by the restaurant. The fruit looked extra bright and cheerful after our near death experience!These are the fruit of the cactus that seem to grow in abundance around there. The driver took us straight back to the city with no pitstops as it was already getting dark.
Thanks for reading!