Tag Archives: Berber

Habishah the little nomad girl

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.

Todra gorge

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.”

View of Todra gorge and part of the loop trail from our riad

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.

After the rain, looking back to the start of the trail

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.

"Follow the donkey crap", said Hassan

An hour into the hike, the start of the trail is still in sight

Lost. Dylan waiting for a sign

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.

The Berber nomad camp

Cutie pie Habishah

Habishah's grandfather shared tea and bread with us

Habishah with her toy rocks

Watch videos of Habishah here and here.

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.

It's still a long way down

Civilisation! If you squint hard enough, you can see our riad

Farms and village along Todra river. Todra gorge is in the background

In all, we took around 4.5 hours to complete the loop, which includes 45 minutes spent being lost.

The Cabutlaris go hiking

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