Travel: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

GUIDEThe driver (above) would stop every now and then for us to take photos by the road side.

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!

REDROADDriving on.

ROAD11The red hills we saw from afar were now left behind.RESTAURANTTo 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…LUNCHI 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.RIVERBEDLOUNGEAll along the river banks and bed, they set up these little seated areas.WALKTOCLIMB 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.SOUVENIRSThere were souvenir shops all the way there.RESTAURANTAt the start of a climb there was a little restaurant.CLIMBThe ascent starts in earnest.RESTAURANT3Which led to another little area of hospitality.TANGINESAt 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?!!’.SHEEPMind the sheep!SHEPHERDRESSThe ‘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.waterfallWe reached a minor waterfall first.WATERFALL3And here it is! THE Waterfall! WATERFALL4The water was crystal clear.WATERFALLFRIDGENo, not rubbish, the stall holders used the water as a fridge. Whilst the weather was pleasantly warm, the water was freezing! BOULDERSWe continued onwards and upwards. WATERFALL2I 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….CLIMB2 Yes, the rocks were steep and wet! Our Guide stood at the top helping us up one by one. One slip….LADDERA 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.WATERFALLSUMMITAs close to the source of the waterfall as we got. CLIFFThese photos may help to show the angle of our climb. MOUNTAINWe continued ever higher.CLIMB3The 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.CLIMB4‘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!SUMMITHOUSESViews from the top!SUMMITAmazing!DOWN4 DOWNVIEW Not an aerial shot but this really was how high we were.DOWN3 Downwards at last! I’m practising my French with the guide. Swear words!DOWN 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.DOWN5I 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!BRIDGE Mind the gap!down6Almost 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.DESCENTBRIDGEFinally 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?!!’.FRUITWe walked back down to where the bus was parked by the restaurant. The fruit looked extra bright and cheerful after our near death experience!CACTUSFRUITThese 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.

GEOPRINTMy favourite geo print dress for dinner. DESSERTI deserved this!

Thanks for reading!


12 thoughts on “Travel: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

  1. Vix

    You look gorgeous, a million times more stylish than the other tourists and that first photo is just lovely! I swear I have photos of Jon and I doing the same trek! x

    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      Thanks so much Vix! I bet nothing’s changed from when you both were there. I truly did not expect to have to climb a rocky mountain with my bare hands and it’s also a wonder I didn’t split the trousers! Fortunately I didn’t bring a handbag, managing my heavy camera was tricky enough. xx

  2. Jan Graham-McMillen

    You are so cute in your glam climbing clothes! I totally identify with the woman in the wedges.
    Great, great post, and so fun for those of us who can participate while sitting on the couch. And yes, those lovely sweets at the end probably functioned as negative calories. That’s a great vacation!

    1. silkpathdiary Post author

      Thanks so much Jan! I can laugh about it all now but it really was the riskiest thing’ve ever done. It was a great vacation and I’m so glad we got to enjoy a lot in such a short time. ‘Negative calories’?, I don’t think that’s going to happen to me again any time soon with all the holidays coming up..unless I find another mountain to climb 🙂

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