This blog is about my travels. At home in New Zealand, in other parts of Oceania, North, Central and South America and in Europe.
From Marrakesh, I traveled to the neighbouring Atlas mountains. On the way we stopped at a traditional Berber village. At a roadside stall I bought a 350 million year old fossil, from when the Atlas mountains were buried under the sea.
On the way we stopped for lunch and had traditional mint tea and some kind of bread which you dip in date and almond paste and Argan oil. It was super delicious.
We kept on going until we got to the small mountain village of Imlil. The towns in this area are all Berber - the indigenous people of Morocco. Although the Atlas mountains are in general a dry place, the towns are well irrigated and green, due to the fertile mountain soil.
At 4137m. Mt. Toubkal is the highest mountain in the Atlas mountains, and the second highest on the African continent. Certainly high enough to start feeling the altitude!
We stopped at a little mountain store on the way up. I was pretty hungry, but the servings were too generous for me! I also listened to traditional Berber music while I had my lunch. Not an experience that happens every day!
As we arrived at the lodge as it was getting cooler. The altitude made things a lot colder and the wind was cold. The lodge itself was very well equipped, and plenty of people were staying there. In winter it gets so much snow it is a ski resort, and it is very affordable for locals, it only costs $5 to ski there per day. I had dinner and went to bed, tucked under as many blankets as I could find. I didn't have much rest because the next morning we were all getting up at 3am.
The next morning, bright and early, we bustled awake and headed off up the mountain. It had snowed a bit overnight and there was a lot of wind and it was very cold! We headed on up, a row of bobbing head torches. Towards the summit we could see a bit more in the pre-dawn light. The sun rose just as we reached the summit. It was amazing to see the sun rise over North Africa. The locals said prayers to Allah and we took our summit photos and headed back downhill quickly. It was freezing cold and the wind was blowing so hard it was hard to stand up straight!
We headed back down and I went back to Marrakesh. By the evening I was sitting in my colourful hostel drinking mint tea. The next day I caught the train back to Casablanca and also went to the hamman (spa complex) at the mosque. It was very affordable and definitely recommended after any climb of Mt Toubkal.
I am a traveller from New Zealand. My blog is to inform friends and family about my adventures. I hope you enjoy it!