I’m not what you would call an “outdoorsy” person. When I was growing up, we did do a little bit of “camping”. And by “camping” I mean traveling the country in a bigasabus motorhome with a TV, oven, microwave and refrigerator and staying at KOA campgrounds. I liked the IDEA of being outdoorsy, and I did have a North Face fleece at one point, which was my token outdoor gear. I was actually a little surprised that Jay wanted to marry me because he was a rock-climbing, LNT kind of guy and I was a comfy couch, toilet, showereveryday kind of girl. I think Jay had an agenda when we got married because the first 2 presents he got for me once we got engaged were a North Face rain jacket and a North Face backpack. I have to admit that I actually cried when I opened those presents. A backpack, really? For a birthday present? For the girl you had just proposed to 2 weeks before? I’m not sure you could get any-less affectionate then that.
Fast-forward 9 and a half years and I think I’ve come a long way. Showering everyday? With three kids, are you kidding? I actually pride myself on how long I can go without washing my hair. And while my wardrobe probably doesn’t scream, “take my hiking!” I can get by. So when Jay started mentioning how he wanted to have a family adventure to a remote part of our country, I was ALL IN from the beginning. The main concern I had was how to bribe our 3 small children to hike for 3 hours without having to carry at least one, probably 2 for most of the time. Around this time, we had friends from America that were planning a trip to visit us, so we suckered them into coming at the perfect time so that they could help us with our kids on this grand adventure! (JK, they were actually really happy to come and help. There was no suckering involved. OK, maybe a little! 🙂 )
There are no roads into this gorge. So we stayed in a village closest to where to road ends and then hiked in from there. It was so amazing! Thankfully, we had hired 2 mules to carry our packs, so the mule guys were happy to have our kids ride with them. This was a life-saver! I’m sure it would have taken us a good 5 or 6 hours if they had not been able to ride. Plus, there were some slightly treacherous parts and we had to cross back and forth over the river a couple of time. It would have been interesting, to say the least.
This place is BEAUTIFUL! They call it the “Yosemite of Morocco” and it did not disappoint. The most amazing thing is that it is practically empty. There is a village back there, but besides that, there were maybe 20 other foreigners there. Mostly rock climbers from Europe, as it is a premier rock-climbing site.
The trip did not come without some of puking, LOTS of trips to the squatty potties, and some tears. But really, that’s pretty standard for our family and what’s an adventure without a good amount of bodily fluids. 🙂