Donkey Crossing

Welcome to Donkey Crossing! Donkey Crossing is an on-line account of one Limey and one Yank living one Dream. From September 2006 until the end of 2007, we plan to visit friends and family on five continents and immerse ourselves into various cultures, natural phenomena and ways of life. We hope you enjoy our tales and visit often! Cheers, Jason and Rachel Napoli

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A couple days after our mountain bike adventure you read about in the previous post, we traded handlebars for hiking boots as we set out to discover a few of the twenty-six Berber villages scattered through the Ameln Valley.
With a striking white mosque, and mud homes built into the side of the mountains, Oumesnat was the first Berber village we visited during our hike. What started as an incredibly dreary day began to look a bit brighter once we entered the village.
Two independent hikers, pleased to see more blue sky as the day progressed, pose for their camera in front of thirsty palms and the 12,000 foot mountains of the Anti-Atlas.
Each village we visited had at least one thing in common: the friendliness of the locals. We were warmly greeted village after village and received logistical assistance when needed. A visit to the local shop for a bottle of water resulted in an invitation for a glass of "berber whiskey" (mint tea), while a toothless man in a three piece suit on a bicycle escorted us to an unmarked trail over a mountain pass. A kid, kid and another kid: we were enthusiastically followed by this young barefoot boy as he flung his goats from their limbs in a playful manner.
My idea to climb this rock formation was so brain popped out!
Descending the final pass, Rachel is ready for a cold drink and a good stretch once we return to the hotel.
The view from our hotel's rooftop terrace at dusk.
Our visit to the Anti-Atlas Mountains has definitely been a highlight during our time in Morocco. We spent time biking, hiking and throwing the frisbee under clear blue skies, while enjoying local cuisine and a very comfortable hotel. It was an excellent choice "off the beaten path" before we began our long journey through the disputed territory of Western Sahara in route to Mauritania. Be sure to visit back soon for an update on our Saharan crossing.


Blogger chicago mike said...

Hi Jason and Rachel,

Mike O'Malley (Intrax teacher)here writing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Been teaching military cadets now since June 05 with Raytheon. I have really enjoyed your postings on Morocco. You might remember I was PC there, plus later worked at Casablanca AMerican School, plus many, many trips there in the ensuing years. Haven't been back since 2000, but I will try to stop through on my way to Chicago for, Inchallah, my son's graduation from U of I-Urbana.

Your photos bring back a lot of memories, as I have been to the places you've described. I'd have to say your texts are pretty much spot-on re life there, besides being beautifully written. There's a lot of hospitality in Morocco. Please continue your very entertaining insights. All the best, Mike

7:32 AM  

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