Todra Gorge is quite grand and obviously a haven for rock climbing, but once you’ve seen it, there’s nothing much else to do, unless you’re a rock climber, or really really like gorges.
According to the Lonely Planet, the Todra gorge region is excellent hiking country. So we decided to take a hike. Hassan recommended we do the loop trail around the mountain west of the gorge. “No need for a guide,” he said. “Just go up the steps on the left after the gorge, keep to the left of the valley, take the left fork after you pass the nomad camp, and follow the trail of donkey and sheep droppings. Should take 3 hours, or 4 hours if you stop a lot.”
So we did that. Started to rain barely 15 minutes into the hike. Sara cursed the unpredictable weather, while Dylan was adamant it was a passing cloud. Turned back after it started getting heavy and cold, then suddenly the rain stopped and we turned around again.
We stuck to the left of the valley as Hassan advised, but there was no sign of a Berber camp nor a left fork. After two hours, as we were almost at the ridge top, we came across a barely discernible trail that branched to the left. The trail petered out after around 500 metres, and we were left scrambling over loose rock and goat droppings on a steep slope, with civilisation nowhere in sight.
Realising this wasn’t getting us anywhere, we sat down. That was when we spotted a nomad camp on the next hill. We decided to make our way there, and this turned out to be an excellent decision as we met Habishah and her family who live in a cave on the mountainside. When we got there, her mum was spinning wool and her grandfather was patching up an old pair of pants. We were invited for a spot of tea and bread. Luckily, we had packed some sandwiches and dates which we shared with them.
It looked like it was about to rain again, so we made our way down the mountain after getting some directions (in Berber) from Habishah’s grandfather.
In all, we took around 4.5 hours to complete the loop, which includes 45 minutes spent being lost.