Kristi and I both were interested in visiting this place called Paradise valley that was about 45 minutes away from Taghazout. We took a cab out there along with one of the hotels staff members (as a sort of guide which they insisted on). We pulled over and stopped at what we assumed was the entrance, but to our amusement they had brought us to a garden which also doubled as a store. It reminded me of Bali and how the tours always stopped at a coffee plantation (just to look of course) where you always felt obligated to buy at the end. The good news was, is that I was truly interested in learning about all the different plants and how they use them. They also then showed us how Argan Oil is made. After sampling some oil, honey and beauty products we both did end up buying something, but we needed the product anyhow…and it was really nice!
We drove a little further and then finally came through the valley. Our guide had us follow him through some paths, over some rocks, up some hills and then eventually into a clearing that was a swimming hole. It was gorgeous! There was some trash around because the locals often hang out there on weekends, but it wasn’t too bad. After managing to change under a blanket into our suits, we dove (or rather slid) into the water from the moss covered rocks. It was cold water but we adjusted quickly. It was fun to swim around and our guide (Tusik?) helped hoist us onto the cliffs where we could jump or slide off. I’ve certainly learned that I’m not as afraid of heights as I used to be after New Zealand canyoning, but I didn’t do the highest jump. After the place got a bit busier, we headed to the second lake.
The second lake we were told was 10 minutes away, but it was definitely further. We didn’t have the clearest communication, but Tusik was the nicest person ever and was kind of silly. What I loved was that despite a language barrier, he knew how to play the water bottle flip game (that’s the internet for you…). It was the perfect amount of difficulty in a hike. We climbed super high up and then eventually worked our way down into the valley which at one point was filled with water. He took us to a waterfall that was dried up, it was cool to see. Then we walked back to the second lake, but were a little too tired to swim here.
On the way back we stopped at a river cafe. That was probably the highlight of my day because I’ve never done anything like it. The table and chairs were actually in the middle of the river/stream. If any of our tea or cookies spilled it was easily swept away by the water current or eaten by the fish. If the crumbs fell too close to your feet, you also got a little fish pedicure. The car ride back was nice because we were tired and the driver had the best mix tape with classic 00’s songs!
Within a few hours of getting back, Kristi had now come down with the stomach plague so while she tried to recover I went and did a workout on the beach. It felt so good to do a hard workout, and the coach was great because she made it very fun and competitive. Sometimes I forgot I was working out and just thought I was playing a game. I came back and Kristi was still feeling sick so we just caught up on some rest tonight.