Sunny Sunday with Marrakech Trekkers

IMG_4711 Today marked the first hike of a new group and I’m so glad I joined.  It was the maiden voyage of the Marrakech Trekkersalmost literally— given the rain -swollen river that gushed across the road we needed to cross.  On the other side were mountain villages we’d hike around and through, lookouts over green valleys and the snow covered Atlas Mountains. Even before we reached the rushing creek bed we’d  encountered another obstacle on our course.  The Marrakech Marathon had closed so many roads that finding a way out of the city was daunting. After trying many alternative routes and back- alley shortcuts through neighborhoods I’d never seen,  Shane, our fearless driver and human compass, found a way and we were headed  southeast of town.  An hour later at our destination, locals on tractors cautioned against trying to cross the river by car. As little girls gathered to watch, we searched for a stone path that would keep us dry–something Synnove and I preferred. There wasn’t one.  We considered hitching a ride across by mule, but the owner laughed and walked on.  When a passenger van appeared, we planned to ask if we could jump in. But since the van had two mules in the back, we decided to go by car another way.IMG_4682 IMG_4683 IMG_4685 IMG_4686 IMG_6722 IMG_6723 IMG_6726 IMG_6732 IMG_6733 IMG_4689 IMG_4697 We found a shady grove, parked the car and headed upward.  The path snaked between bluffs on the left and fields on the right.  In the middle of green sat workers  drinking tea.  A man chopping trees gave us directions as we went higher, passing women cutting  vines with scythes and tying the firewood on their backs.  A mother and her daughter smiled and said, “Bonjour Madame” as we emerged from a stone tunnel and continued following the creek bed.   A grandmother sat watching her sheep graze as the wind rustled tall grass; another later joked with Shane in Arabic. IMG_4692 IMG_4691 IMG_4698 I hadn’t hiked steep hills since last summer, hadn’t teetered on narrow trails along cliffs since Ecuador, hadn’t been offered tea in Berber homes…ever. IMG_4710 IMG_4705 IMG_4699 IMG_4701 IMG_4700 Shane and the men and boys in each stone village talked and laughed.  They shook our hands. IMG_4702 IMG_4708 Women nodded and smiled.  Children stopped their play and followed us–one jumping from a tree, some calling “Bonjour,”  all giggling.   One girl around six carried a baby brother swaddled on her back.  Another girl of fourteen had a baby strapped behind her, too.  Her own. IMG_4707 IMG_4712 IMG_4695 IMG_4715 IMG_4723 IMG_4721 IMG_4719 IMG_4718 IMG_4717 IMG_6737 As we drove home we passed cyclers–motorbikes carrying a child, dad, and mom.  Almond trees were already blooming this first month of a new year.  I was thankful again for the kindness of strangers.  Those who welcomed us into their villages.  And those finding community in Marrakech.  I look forward to more journeys with new friends–those who couldn’t make it today and others as the group grows.  But today, I loved that a man born in Spain, a woman born in Norway, and a girl born in Kentucky all enjoyed this Sunday under the Moroccan sun.

Cindy McCain

A Southern Girl Gone Global, I flew from my empty Nashville nest in 2014 to land in Africa where I lived two years in magical Marrakesh, Morocco. Now I live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and continue sharing my journey--so far across 27 countries on 4 continents and the Caribbean. This travel/lifestyle blog is about letting go of fear, clinging to faith, and following your heart's desires. It's a celebration of beauty, adventure, relationship...roots and wings.

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2 comments

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Elaine. I was missing the hills of Percy Warner and the green way near my house. Growing up I loved going with my grandparents on Sundays to farms of aunts, uncles, and cousins in Kentucky, so seeing sheep, cows, donkeys, chickens and a huge rooster up close and personal yesterday brought back memories.

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