Our day in the Atlas Mountains

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Wed 23rd

It is 9.30am and I am back in my little atrium grabbing a few moments before the mule trek. Today we have been gifted with perfect weather; blue skies, plenty of sun and no wind. The view from my retreat is spectacular and I am hoping the photos will capture the magic.

We ate breakfast with some other couples up on the roof top against the beautiful back drop of the snow covered Atlas peaks. There was an English doctor and his Aussie wife who are touring around Morocco and a young couple having a break from the “lovely” English summer. It is always interesting to meet and chat with different people and to find what motivated them to seek the same destination that you have chosen. The kids were happy too as, yet again, there were Coco Pops and hot chocolate on offer for breakfast.

Dinner last night was really enjoyable as well and not just because of the food, the best we have had since being in Morocco. All of the guests sat around low tables in the cosy lounge area with only candle light to dine by. We feasted on traditional Moroccan cuisine of soup, chicken tajine, fruit, pastries and mint tea. The guests here are very friendly and chatty with most being from Europe, particularly the UK and some from the US. There are no other children here though, a fact which makes me wonder whether this is simply because we are out of school holidays or, is it proof that I am crazy to have dragged everyone here! Perhaps our day will tell. Off to ride the mules now!

Noon: I am back in my atrium after the mule trek which was great. Our Kasbah seems to be located at a high peak at the junction of a few valleys which converge into one. The scenery was spectacular as we wound our way up a narrow rocky trekking path through one of these valleys, crossed a river and rode down the other side in a circular route back to the Kasbah. We passed traditional Berber women and children out minding their cattle, sheep or goats as they grazed and other folk pottering around their primitive looking mud brick homes, albeit with satellite dishes on the roof though and terraces of various crops, walnuts apples etc growing along the mountain edge. The experience was amazing and we felt very privileged to be allowed to stroll through their village and look in on their lives so closely. The kids absolutely loved it as did Mark and I. My mule was young and sprightly and set a brisk pace with others in tow behind. They are truly amazing creatures up here given the paths that they have to navigate, considering they have four legs to negotiate, not just two! We have come back to the Kasbah for a break after this fun before heading out on a walk this afternoon.

We followed the same track on our afternoon walk as we did with the mules earlier in the day. We stopped for lunch in Imlil where, when Mark asked about the menu, the Berber replied ‘tajine, lamb or vegetable’. Mark opted for the lamb which was delicious. We then trekked uphill to our Kasbah and chillaxed before dinner.

We have not had mobile access for a couple of days now but should be back in range tomorrow.

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