15 December 2012

Chefchaouen.

Today is the day of The Walk.  Sounds impressive huh?
Up and out for our daily dose of pancake and cheese.  This is from the local patisserie in the main square.  Not too bad.  From here Andrew, Sophia & David walked out of town to the cascades again.  Yesterday Andrew mentioned he wanted to walk up one of the mountains around the town, and this makes a good starting point.

Its not that far...

Its not that far…

A bit grey in the mornings.

A bit grey in the mornings.

From the cascade, there is a small path leading upwards away from the town.  We decided to take this path first.  Walking along it got narrower and rougher.  Leading along the side of one of the mountains.  It looked as if it would take us to the old Spanish mosque, that is apparently in ruins.  This mosque is lit up at night, and we thought we should go and see it.  On the way we were stopped by some children trying to sell us daisy chains.  It was quite cute, but a little sad.  Their houses were on the pathway, and as we walked around them, the landscape opened up a little bit.  There are no other big towns around, but the whole area had houses in places.  Up a bit of a hill and we arrived at the mosque.  It has been renovated, and we couldn’t go in, but there was a great view out over the city on one side, impressive with the peaks rising up behind it.  On the other, there was a line of mountains, with rolling hills stretching off into the distance.  We had to stay there for a while soaking in the view.

Is that the path?

Is that the path?

After we had gotten our breaths back…  we returned the way we had come.  About half way, there is a valley in the mountains.  It is quite steep, but there is something resembling a path up.  Taking this, we started scrambling over the build-up of centuries of debris coming from the mountains.  This made progress tricky in some places as you couldn’t be sure of your footing, but if you stick to the path is is mostly fine.

It was surprising how steep the path was, and very quickly we were well above the city.  Looking back through the small gap provided by the mountains, you could see Chefchaouen disappearing into the distance.

There are quite a few people around the lower section of he path, but as we kept ascending, we passed them.  A bit further, there seemed to be a section where we could go almost vertically up one of the peaks and get to a ridge.  This would provide an excellent view of the area.  Or we could just continue up the valley.  As the first option meant risking life and limb on the scree (not necessarily up, but defiantly when we came back down), we decided to keep on the main section.

The view from about half way...

The view from about half way…

By now we were exhausted.  There was a small section that looked good for taking a break.  Making our way over to it, we found that others had had the same idea.  There is the remnants of old fires, and cooking there.  Still, it was a nice spot.  Not much of a view, other than the steep valley we were in, but mostly sheltered from the wind, and a good place to relax.

From here, we called it a day.  I could say that we continued hiking up this 80 degree incline the rest of the way, to see how the plateau behind it opened up to a grand vista covered with goats and shepherds, but in reality, we just couldn’t be bothered.  We had made it this far, and I was impressed with that.  Now to survive the journey down.  It was getting a bit late, and the sun was sinking in the sky, not helped by the high walls around us.  As is usually the case though, going back was much faster than getting there.  What took us a couple of hours to climb only took half an hour to slide down.

Back in town, we picked up Anna and set off to find the bus station.  This is right down at the bottom of town (also at the bottom of the hill!).  It was not too hard to find, just go down hill.  When there, we found that the only bus going where we wanted left at 6AM!  There was nothing else.

We didnt even try...

We didnt even try…

This is a bit annoying, as we are at least half an hours walk away, without bags.  Still, we took the tickets and slowly made our way back up the hill.  Trying to work out the best path to take if we couldn’t catch a taxi that early.  It would not be fun.

The new city is pretty as well, and it would have been good to have a proper look around, as there are all sorts of parks and public places.  Still the old town was interesting enough.  An early night, for an early start.  At least I can tell dad that I have seen the sun rise at some stage in the last few years!

AA

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