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  • I was travelling around Morocco for two weeks . On the last day of my trip I could at last hike in the Rif Mountains , stretched along Mediterranean coast . I stayed overnight in a small hotel in the town called Tetouan , located in the valley between mountains and smaller hills . As there had been a sunshine since early morning ( that time of the year during the spring often rains ) I decided to set out toward a close mountain range . After bustling places I had visited before , I wanted some peace , just trek alone .

    After forty minutes I ascended to the point where the last cluster of buildings stood on the slope , with the panoramic view of the white town , nicely shattered at the foothills . I left an asphalt road traversing the hillsides and entered a tiny path , leading up along a dried stream . After pleasant walk up among lush greenery I came across a wide dust road . So I followed the road winding in the pine forest . I saw there quite rusty old truck . Men were loading stones on it . I passed the vehicle discretly and when I climbed the steep path , I took a photo of the truck from the distance . But the men behind their truck noticed my action ; one of them emerged from behind and shouted , showing with his hands - " take pictures of the mountains around , not our truck " . Ok . A bit confused I kept walking .
    Soon I saw a girl and an old man guarding a small flock of goats on the side of the road . I passed them over and they quickly were beyond my sight , as the track twisted again . Only a couple of goats were ahead of me , moving along the path , so I followed them . " The rest of the flock " - I thought . Bleating loudly , the animals descended to the crossing of a several paths , by the stream I had been following earlier . The goats disappeared , taking a trail to somewhere below . And I sat under a tree to have a rest . The skies changed suddenly - it started to rain a bit . I had to decide if continue hiking or go back . Having my luch , I could hear a strange sound - as if someone was using an old, rusty water pump - that was my impression .Was that possible there was a manual water pomp ? Maybe there was a bird , announcing forthcoming rain . The rain got more dense in fact .I clung to the trunk of the tree closely .

    And then I saw the shepard girl who I had seen a while earlier with goats .She was maybe twelve years old .
    That was an extraordinary view. The girl was accompanied by a small goat , which wailed loudly and a dog , litlle one too . She was moving quickly , nearly running . A moment later they were gone , taking the path up on the other side . I was still sitting under the tree , waiting hopefully for the clearer sky . And then the girl was back - took another litlle path along with those two animals . Strange . Suddenly I jumped to the conclusion she was searching for her missing goats , goats I had been following . And possibly I had scared them away . I wanted to shout to her that she had taken a wrong direction . Hovewer , she had found out it too and got back again to the spot where I sat . She asked me just with gesture where her goats had gone - and she thanked me as I pointed out. I wished I had been more cautious with these goats - the poor girl had to chase now her livestock
    in the rain .
    Anyway , I waited a bit longer and the weather seemed getting better , with some sunshine - so I took a slippery path along the stream . At last the sun and blue sky was back again - I was lucky . I climbed a rocky peak after an hour and was getting down the other slope of the mountain .The large pass below , between two peaks , was full of sheep .Two young shepperds crossed my way - one of them proposed me he would pose for me , holding a sheep . I didn't understand his French , but he wanted me to use my camera . And two euros fee , of course . But it seemed to me a bit silly and I was gone , down my way back to the town . In the case it would rain again .

    Descending the slopes where I could hardly see any path , I saw a stone building , built on the spot where the slope was flatter .That wasn't people's dwelling rather , more a shed for cows or sheep , high above tree line . I didn't hear anybody inside . Probably these shepperds I had met used it . I came over and took a picture of a mule feeding on the grass , off the corner . Then I stopped next to the building to have a rest and eat something . Then moved down , rushing .
    At one point , after a while , I stopped and looked back . On the edge by the shepperd's shed , I saw a man, standing without move and staring at me . He wore a long rob with a hood . He was wondering , I guessed , what the hell I was doing there . He must have seen me by the building and of course I had a look of a stranger . A tourist poking his nose where he shouldn't . The man looked at me as if he wanted to say ; get away . I was even wondering if he would move down the path to chase me off . But maybe he was only curious . I turned my back on him and was off .

    I was leaving the mountains thinking , that I was an intruder in this mountains . Where the life flows in slow rythm and could be easily disturbed by a stranger .
    Or that's just my imagination .
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