2016-09-29 Hotel Dar Rhizlane Marrakesh and Ourika Valley, Morocco

With our friend Abdul picking us up at the hotel mid morning, we depart for a day of sightseeing out of town
Passing stone villages, mosques and minarets, it is not long before we are out of the city of Marrakesh
We travel south east towards the Ourika Valley
The trip to the Ourika Valley takes us through the lower hills of the Atlas Mountains
Our first stop is to visit the home of a local Berber family
We arrive at the stone dwelling and are welcomed by the man of the house and his young son
The elevated terrace of the house was cluttered with an array of pot plants and had a wonderful view down the fertile valley

Situated on the terrace is also a unique outdoor oven
Next we are taken indoors and greeted by the lady of the house
We are given a guided tour of the neat and tidy Berber home
Another member of the family is cooking the traditional Berber pita bread on an open stove
Also inside another member of the family is having a late breakfast
After our tour our hostess pours us her special maghrebi mint tea
Special sugar is placed into the teapot with fresh mint, tea leaves and boiling water
It was a very special experience visiting the home of the local Berber family
We continue our trip along the picturesque valley passing villages nestled into the hillside
Continuing along the road that follows the Wadi River we arrive at the town of Setti Fatma which is where the road finishes
During the summer period, cafes, restaurants and bars are set up on the banks of the Wadi River
Outrageous coloured couches adorn the shoreline of the shore
During the sweltering heat of July and August this area would be a popular place to visit to get some relief from the heat!!
From Setti Fatma we set off to climb to one of the 7 waterfalls
Heading up the path we pass a number of apple carriers
Nestled amongst the trees are numerous cafes and bars
An amazing craftsman at work!!
With ample chilled water at hand, this is a unique way of keeping drinks chilled!!
After following a number of graded paths it was a steep climb over many large boulders to get to our destination
Finally we arrive at the Cascades Ourika Waterfall
This waterfall was one of the easier ones to get to as the more difficult ones required mountain climbing skills!!!
Stunning views from here
Ric with Abdul and a local guide, who joined us for safety and assistance if we had required it
After spending quite some time enjoying the scenery by the waterfall we made our way back down to the village

Time for lunch by the cool running water of the Wadi River
Abdul expertly pours the refreshing Moroccan mint tea
A local Moroccan singer arrives to serenade us at the table
……..accompanied by Moroccan musician playing an old single stringed rebab
Delicious Moroccan freshly baked bread arrives at our table
Next a fresh plate of salad with a selection of olives arrives
….followed by a vegetable tangine
So far we have had a great day enjoying the lovely scenery and the good experiences of the Ourika Valley
Once we departed Setti Fatma we continued back towards Marrakesh passing several Berber villages on the way

Above the fertile valleys below, the barren terrain was quite obvious

Plenty of fabulous pots for sale here in this village
We eventually arrive back after a fabulous day in the Ourika Valley which took us approximately 68km southeast of Marrakesh

We again pass the Koutoubia Mosque
We parted ways with Abdul in the main square, Place Jemaa el-Fna
Early evening  Jemaa el-Fna is reasonably quiet before the crowds arrive at dusk
The fresh juice vendors prepare for another busy night

Before returning to our hotel we take another stroll through the covered market of the medina

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