A Six Month Odyssey


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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz
January 29th 2020
Published: January 29th 2020
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28.01.20

Ouarzazate - Toubkal, Imlil

It was a big day in the car today to get to Imlil, and we arrived shortly after 6pm. Aissa is a fabulous driver and a very kind man as well. Not like these other two clowns I am travelling with.😁

On the way, we stopped at the Ksar of Aït Ben Haddou, dating from around the 17th century, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987. It is situated along the former caravan route between Ancient Sudan and Marrakech. Most people live in more modern homes on the other side of the river now, however there are still a few families living inside the ancient village.Hamid will be impressed that I am paying attention today instead of looking out the window pretending to pay attention!

Before lunch we walk to an old Kasbah, the name of which escapes me (perhaps I wasn't paying enough attention), but it is spectacular. Dinner is a quiet affair in a small dining room here at Riad Jnane, that tonight, seats two other couples. The food is good and wholesome and a hot fire is burning. A 10am start tomorrow means a sleep in!!

29.01.20

Imlil

After a small breakfast, we headed out with a guide for a 3 hour trek up to the waterfall here in Toubkal, the village above, and the mountains above that. Kill me now I'm thinking, as we get halfway up. The altitude, at 2269 metres, is my excuse for all those breaks I need. And the pictures.... you need to get good pictures, right? It takes many minutes to frame the right shots!😆

At the 2 hour point we start to head down through the pine plantation, which is not as picturesque, but its much more entertaining! There is plenty of beautiful powdery snow about us, but then we start to hit ice, so the descent has become really difficult. We've had to go off track to avoid it but we still keep running in to ice that we slip and fall all over as we clamber to get around it. Our guide, Hussain, is wonderful and so helpful, but whilst I'm laughing my way down, Shane has turned in to a walking thundercloud behind me. He's cursing and falling about, not as much as I am, but Hussain is making him wait so that he can assist him over the ice as well.

Knackers, the mountain climber, doesn't like having to wait and he's a man, so he certainly doesnt need any help from another man! All's well that ends well. It was just SO GOOD to finally be getting some real exercise. A quick walk in to town for a coffee on the roof top cafe to watch the town go about its business, and its back here to the Riad for a break.Looking forward to a chicken tagine ( what else!) for dinner, and then its off to the coast to Essaouira tomorrow for 2 more days, where I hope it will be a little warmer.😄

Shane says: Great walk up through the old villages. Coming down the other side was bloody boring. Felt like I'd walked to Marrakesh. Sleet, ice everywhere. Slippery as f€ck. Thought this old boy was going to fall arse over tit and break ribs like I did on Mt. Merapi in Java.

Zip zip girl! Now there's a story for you listeners out there.

Sharls and I have been travelling with packs for the past 12 years. Occasionally we take a carry on bag weighing 7kg for short trips. She wants something different, something which can hold a few extra kilos since we are away for 6 months. We buy draggy bags. Ones with wheels you drag behind you. Like a caveman with a wife.

Great for flat places with concrete right? Not great for the desert/bush/hills etc etc. You get my point.

So Sharls buys the draggy bag of all draggy bags. Layers/tiers, call them what you want. She has a bag with three tiers. Lots of zips. You have to zip one layer up before opening another one because wait for it, she has 248 cube bags per layer. Three layers by 248 cube bags equals yep you got it, 744 bloody cubes inside her draggy bag. Very organised. But wait for it! Zippy bloody zippy bloody zip zip zip. I cant find my socks. Think they are in tier one zip zip zip followed by seven cubes being pulled out looking for aforementioned socks. Nope not there, zip zip zip. Oh there they are zip zip zip. Now I need my hair brush. Tier two. Lets zip up tier one. Zip zip zip. Unzip tier two pull eleven cubes out, zip zip bloody zip. Now I need my laundry bag. Yep you guessed it tier three. Zip zip zip.

I need scotch. I wake hearing zip zip zip in my dreams. Please can we go back to packs?

Sharls says: A duffel bag and packing cubes have changed my life 😆


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31st January 2020

Zip bag
Shane really -AHAIR BRUSH????

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