Hiking in the Rif Mountains

April 9, Chefchaouen, #IBMCSC  #CSCMorocco10 #CitizenIBM

Today is a day committed to hiking. We leave our hotel after an early breakfast to go hiking in the Rif mountains. Our destination is the Cascade (waterfall) Akchour. We first drive for about 45 minutes to get to our starting point. We are 11 of us today and aim for a rapid start. The schools in Chefchaouen province have just commenced their spring break and we witness a flood of students and youngsters heading out for the same trek.

We commence our hike and I am reminded of the pilgrimage I have made many years ago to Vaishnodevi in N India.  Juice stalls and eateries abound; the dholaks (Indian percussion) are replaced by Moroccan drums and our waterfall is the shrine here. On our way I discover the region’s oak, conifer and fir trees. We spot monkeys which belong to the species Barbary macaque. I consider myself a reasonable trekker but find myself having to run every now and then to keep pace with my team. They are obviously far more seasoned than myself.

We reach the waterfall in 2 hours covering a distance of 6.5 km and a climb equivalent to roughly 235 floors.  Vaishnodevi, on the other hand is a 12 km trek one way.  The waterfall here isn’t stunning but the pool of water collected below looks magical. It’s too crowded at the waterfall so we choose to remain there for barely 10 minutes before starting our descent. On the way down, around the half way point, we stop to catch our breath and chill out with some orange juice and tea. 2017-04-11_20.14.26

Further down, we halt to catch a glimpse of some daredevil boys jumping into the waterfall. Words can’t describe it so I capture it on video.

We get back to the base at about 3pm and team up with the rest of our colleagues. It’s a five hour drive back from Chefchaouen to Rabat. We get back treasuring the moments spent together. It is a soul satisfying weekend!

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