Cascades d'Ouzoud and Country Markets
Updated: 30 Aug 2015)
The guide book calls the Cascades d'Ouzoud "one of the most spectacular sights in Morocco."
But before getting there we make a stop in Attoauia where it is market day. It is like going to the
Minnesota State Fair - it takes place in the rain and sunshine. I'll have to admit,
I love the color and hustle of the open markets.
Starting at daybreak country people traveling on foot, on donkeys or in heavily
laden trucks make their way to a site whre tents and stalls are being set up.
They share whatever transportationthey may have to get to the market.
Before stopping at the market we make a "rest stop." Toilets are no longer
"just a hole in the ground". Running water, a bucket, and a place to put your
feet. But don't worry, there were "western" style toilets in almost
all restaurants and rest stops.
Produce is brought to market by any means available.
Market day is also a chance for neighbors
to rest and visit over a cup of hot mint tea.
The produce is laid out on tarps and carefully
mounded so as to make the best presentation.
Every salesman knows that to make a sale
you first have to catch the customer's eye. Doesn't he do a wonderful job?
We have "farmer's markets" in Minnesota but more
often then not the product is shipped from far away in
cardboard boxes. This is a real "farmer's market."
Each farmer has his specialty vegitable or fruit.
Whether you want cabbage, beets, turnups, beans,
or anything else it is all fresh.
Fresh mint for tonight's tea.
But this market doesn't only sell fruits and
vegitables. You can also replinish your lifestock herd.
Goats or sheep for your herd, or perhaps the next feast.
Sometimes you just have to carry your purchase home.
Do you need a donkey or mule?
This is what you call "fresh turkey".
No "fresh frozen" poultry here.
Perhaps you need some spices for that tajine tonight.
And now you know why I love open markets.
Something has to be said about the Olive
Olives are a unique fruit. The tree grows in the worst of soils and lasts forever. The fruit, when pickled,
ads spice to every meal. The fruit when crushed produces oil for cooking. The olives are picked in
the fall and placed in a heavy grindstone which is turned by a donkey. Both the flesh and the kernel are
crushed and the pulp is then placed in a press. The oil seeps out and runs into vats, where when it is mixed
with water, will float to the surface free of debris. The animals can then eat what remains of the pulp
and the kernel burns hot as a cooking fire. We stopped at a farm to see the olive press and process.
Our host was happy to have her picture taken.
We finally arrive at our destination, the
Cascades d'Ouzoud. It has been raining so we are blessed to see the
falls with water puring down from the red cliffs. See the rainbow?
It is raining hard so we stop half way
down the falls to have lunch.
Hot mint tea! Just what our cold bodies needed.
Refreshed and full of energy, I follow the wet footpath
and stairs cut into the rock face and earth to the bottom
of the falls. The water cashes off a succession of rocky ledges
to fall into the canyon of Wadi el-Abid 328 feet below.
As the sun peeks between the rain clouds
the falls burst into the light.
In the fig trees which grow along the path you may find the famous Berber monkey,
but not always. Our guide didn't even want to mention them because they are so
elusive. But, as luck would have it, a whole tribe followed me up the
path from the bottom of the falls.
Getting a close-up photo is a bit tricky.
The saga of Flat Stanley.
Before I left home a friend asked a favor for her grand daughter.
Would I take "flat Stanley" with me and take some pictures of him at various
locations to prove that Stanley was there? I had never heard of Flat Stanley
but I complied with her request. On our way back to Marrakech I saw some school
boys and, although I don't speak a word of French or Arabic, I showed them Flat
Stanley. To my amazement, they knew exactly what I wanted and here
is proof that Flat Stanley was "On the Road" to Marrakech.
On the final night of the post-trip
we again have a fairwell dinner. Not as elaborate but just as much fun.
Traditional Moroccan music to sing in our hearts forever.
And one last belly dancer and
memories to last a lifetime.
You have no idea how much fun I had reliving this trip while writing these pages.
Thank you for your interest. It is a trip I want to share with everyone.
Come back again, this page is still under construction.
Links to other Moroccan Adventures:
If you have any questions, or comments, I would be interested in hearing from you. Just
let me know.
This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee
Belli at the Grand Titons, June 2015
Since September 4, 2005, you are visitor number