Sunday, January 17, 2010
al-Maġrib (pt. two)
not knowing what time the sun would come up, but really wanting to watch it do thus from the roof of the hostel, we awoke a good couple of hours too early. the light eventually crept over the mountains and into the valleys.
chefchaouen is not the biggest of towns and this first full day provided ample time to see and explore the many blue-hued closes. in the morning light, with just a few people walking about, proved to be the best time for exploring. the afternoon to late afternoon crowds were overwhelming and exhausting.
(blessed by a toureg)
(tea. all day)
the search for tapes and handcrafted goods and knowledge wore on (with good results. just feast your eyes on cheb).
we eventually met back up with our canadian cohorts inadvertently and shared in the joy of mint tea, cultural centers/mosques and wandering the small blue lanes late into the night.
the next morning we arose again with the sun and resolve to hike deep into the mountains high above chefchaouen. the morning, though, we secured our seats on buses north (melissa and i) and south (the canadians, deeper into morocco), added one more to our group in the form of a world (seriously, everywhere) travelling young australian, had more mint tea and then began walking up hill. the mountains were full of goat herders, firewood gatherers, lurkers, hash peddlers and some of the most pristine hiking that ive had. the vague goal was to reach a more remote mountain town, but a good eight miles up a steady punishing incline was enough for us to opt out of the extra five miles it would have taken to reach said town. happy with our summit, the hike down didnt seem nearly as punishing and was made even less so with the sunset views we were afforded as we descended back into chefchaouen.
(the town from above)
happy with the balance of city and nature life we kept while in chefchaouen, we retired after yet more mint tea and delicious tajine to the pension for one more night of snore patterns.
the next day, tea and waiting. we met yet more world travellers, this time in the form of an amazing brazilian couple that has been living in italy for awhile now. so incredibly intelligent and funny, they made the ride up to tangier quite managable. compared to the passage down, the ride north and then back across the straight of gibraltar was as easy as it could get. while getting back to spain was fairly easy, and communicating with people a bit more managable, the fun didnt stop as we missed the last bus up to seville and had to spend the night in algeciras.
(twinkly lights of tangier, further and further away)