Setti Fatma Waterfalls – More fun than we expected

As much as we enjoy exploring a new city, we’re always happiest when we can get out and do something active. Having biked around Marrakech, it was time to head out on foot and hike our way up to see some waterfalls at Setti Fatma (aka Sitti Fadma).

Ok, so, we didn’t set out on foot right away. There was the matter of a 2 hour drive from the city before we could get started. This also included stops to visit a pottery maker and tour a traditional Berber home.

Pottery – It’s not all in the name

Our first stop outside the city was a small pottery making/tourist operation. We had a short but interesting demonstration of how the pottery is made, fired and decorated. Katy even had a chance to give it a try. As for Ella and I, we may have Potter in our name, but we know when to leave things to the professionals.

After a while, we started to get closer to the mountains and into the Berber villages. Our next stop was a 300 year old Berber family home. By no means a modern home, it was big enough for the three generations that currently live there. The most interesting part for me was how a stream had been integrated into the home, first powering a watermill used to turn a grindstone before flowing through the kitchen.

A walk in the park

A short drive from the Berber home we reached Setti Fatma. There we met Sulaiman (not sure about the spelling, going on my history course reading here) who would be our guide for the hike.

The walk started off easily enough. We made our way along a road, across a bridge, climbed some stairs and through a number of restaurants and stalls lining the riverbank.

After that we were surprised to find it starting to get a little more technical than we expected. We were pleasantly surprised as we scrambled across rocks and hopped back and forth across the river. More fun than a simple walk in the park. For her part, Ella insisted on leading the way, taking help from Sulaiman and me only when absolutely necessary. Before long we were at the first waterfall and enjoying a quick snack.

You’re sure we’ll be able to get back down, right?

After the first waterfall the plan was for us to visit two more. Unfortunately, flooding earlier in the week had washed out the ladder needed to continue. It looked like we would have to turn back and cut the hike short. Then Sulaiman asked if we would be interested in “going a little higher”.

“Ah, sure” we said, not really knowing what that meant. He seemed to like the answer though and we set off for another path. You see that 50% incline in the middle of the altitude profile of our walk? Yep, that’s where we went. ‘Wall’ would have been as accurate a description as ‘path’ as it turned out.

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As we started climbing it was clear that Katy was getting a little uncomfortable with the prospect of having to come back down this climb, especially with a 5 year old along for the ride.

When I asked Suleiman whether we came back down the same route he almost laughed at the idea and reassured us that we would come back down a much smoother incline. Then again, it was still along the edge of a steep cliff though so we kept a close eye on Ella.

Back down in Setti Fatma we had a quick lunch and climbed back into the truck with Hamza for the ride back to Marrakech just as the rain started.

A Kosy drink

For dinner that night we made our way over to Kosybar for dinner. The only restaurant we’ve visited so far with an alcohol license. It was nice to have a drink on the rooftop terrace while we waited for dinner, at least until it started to rain again.

In the end even the rain turned out to be a positive and another example of the prefered treatment we get when travelling with Ella in countries like Morocco.

While everyone else was crammed around little tables near the bar, we were shown to the spa at the back of the restaurant (I don’t know why it was there either) where there was a single table next to the pool.

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Not a bad way to spend our last evening in Marrakech before we head into the Atlas Mountains.

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