Unlike any other birthday experience, which has always been about big city fun, I took on the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco for my big 2-5.
Chef Chaouen, nestled in the Rif, is as adorable as it is quiet. An afternoon spent in their market maze resulted in the purchase of a blanket (made by a woman’s cooperative of course) and some bead jewelry. At night, a rooftop birthday dinner at Restaurant Aladdin, with their keyhole door entrances, pillowed ‘divans’ and blue interior was the best way to have good tfiya couscous, my favourite moroccan dish. All this topped off by a night of playing drinking games with Portugese backpackers on the roof of the inn where I was staying. What a perfect birthday!
But it didn’t end there.
The following day, a “grand taxi” pulled up at the inn, ready to take us on our mountain trek. Not being very outdoorsy, I definitely underestimated what such a hike would entail. We were to trek to “Pond de Dieu” or “God’s bridge”. What I expected to be a “strenuous” stroll amongst the trees ended up being an extreme trek involving crossing sandbag bridges, wadding through knee deep cold water, soaking my shoes, ripping the seat of my jeans and SCALING. Although Diesels were not really designed for mountain climbing, they did the best they could to help me keep up with the group. And then we arrived….
We stood in awe at the majestic “Pond de Dieu” that towered above us. Looking up at it, and at the scenic beauty that surrounded it, I knew that the clothing sacrifices and the confrontation with my new fear of heights were all worth it.
So begins my new obsession: going to be an outdoorsy junkie!