I would like to share our best experience of Morocco with you,
Imlil village located on a altitude of 1,800 m in the Atlas Mountains. It's a less touristy please. But you will still see a lot of hikers there taking on the challenge to hike up the summit of Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa 4,167 m.
We also found that the people were very nice in Imlil village, we stayed with Airbnb at a place called Gite Atlas M'azik. Our host Houssain was so nice and helpful with everything.
he organized a mule ride up the mountain for us, at the time I was on crutches and not able to walk so it was perfect with a mule ride to be able to get up in the mountain and enjoy the nature there.
They also cooked us a huge dinner in the evening for an extra 120 dirham and a typical moroccan breakfast was include, freshly made pancakes, jam, breed, yoghurt and fruits together with tea and coffee and a orange jucie. I promise that you won't be hungry if you stay there. The view was also amazing.
Breakfast at our accommodation Gite Atlas M'azik
This is next to our accommodation in Imlil village. People are poor and they live in very simple houses. lot's of houses are not finished as they start to build them and running out of money and then has to wait to continue building.
- About the Mule ride,
For you that don't know what a Mule is, it's a cross of a horse and Donkey. They are bigger than donkeys and more comfortable to ride on. We had hire one each and it's also one guide per Mule. Usually the Mules is there to help the hikers to carry bags up to the base camp of Toubkal and not to tourist people to ride on. These Mules are born and breed to climb mountains and it was amazing how easy they moved in the mountains. It's like mountain goats. We rode about 2 hours up towards the base camp of Toubkal, they have a little rest stop there for hikers to get drinks, lunch etc.
We had our lunch break there, our guides organized the lunch for us, a lot of veggies and rice together with mint tea. Really nice place along the river.
We started of with a short walk on the road before we actually reached the track. The Mules had a stop there for a drink in the river before we continued up the mountain.
It's amazing how behaved they are. My guide just took the bridle of so my Mule could have a drink after that he let him loose, I didn't hold on to my reins and the guide were walking behind us while my mule knew exactly were to walk and didn't put a foot wrong.
When we arrived at our lunch hut they unsaddle the mules took the bridles of and just let them loose, they walked down the hill about 200 m to eat grass and enjoy a little break while we had lunch before we all turned around to ride home. I always hearpe ople talking about donkeys and Mule as damn and stubborn animals. They may be stubborn but they are a lot smarter than a horse I think and maybe that's why they are stubborn too. If they don't wanna do anything they won't do it for you.
I also wanna point out that these Mules look so happy and relaxed in their environment. They are not treated bad or skinny and sore. I think they have a very good life to stroll up the mountains and back
Unfortunately we have seen a lot of animals get treated bad or been very skinny, especially in Marrakesh. But i guess it's like that in these countries, they can't afford food to them selves and the donkeys are important for them, they use them to transport fruits etc into the market to sell or at the farm instead of machines.
Hiking up Jebel Toubkal, Highest Mountain in North Africa, 4,167m
We never did the summit this time as I was on crutches. But I have a little bit of information if you are interested in doing it.
The hike to the summit of Toubkal isn't very technical and if you have a reasonably level of fitness you shouldn't have any trouble to reach the summit of Toubkal.
Imlil village there you start the hike is not far from Marrakesh, you can either catch bus or taxi if you don't have your own car to drive there.
The hike to the summit can be done in 2 days.
Most people walk early morning to the base camp, it's about an 6-10 hour hike (without mules) and the second day to the summit it's about 2-5 hours ascend to reach summit and 2 hour descent before you start your long walk back to Imlil village.
Also remember that Jebel Toubkal can only be summit during summer, In the winter you need mountaineering equipment and experience.
In the summer the hike can be done without guide, but when you arrive to Imlil village you will get attacked by guides and multeers with their Mules. The multeers can take your luggage on the mules to help you carry it to the basecamp. How ever this is really up to you if you want a guide or a multeers to help you carry your luggage to the basecamp.
We also did a Camel ride.
I won't update to much about it. I have never ridden a Camel and always wanted to try.
So we booked an 1 hour ride outside Marrakesh. Our plan first was to do a desert ride but we realized that we didn't have enough time to do it this time.
It was fun to ride, but we felt like they didn't treated the Camels very well there and our guide was pretty rude too.
We were 4 people together doing the ride and half way into the ride he stopped and asked if we liked photos and of course all of us wanted that so he took photos with my camera and for the other guys with their camera.
Pretty normal hey? But before we got back to the camp he turned around and said
¨- when we get back to camp you guys have to give me tip because i took photos of you all. ¨
Who says that?! You give tip if you think the ride was good and we anyway paid for the trip. The ride was shorter than told and Jakob's Camel had a baby that couldn't keep up so they were screaming to each other the entire trip.
It's more to come about Morocco, stay tuned .
// Gina Johansen xx