Morocco - HT Wandelreizen - M'Goun - May 2013

Below you will find a list of pictures, taken on our M'Goun trip in Morocco from May 18 2013 to June 1 2013.
The most interesting images have a red bullet in front of them. In a hurry? Just want to see the pictures? Check out the slide show.

May 18: Home - Marrakech

We had an early flight, directly into Marrakech. We had the same flight as two others from our group. We had pre-arranged a taxi to take the four of us to our hotel in Marrackech. After a light breakfast we headed into town. We first went to the Bahia Palace which is famous for its ceilings. We then walked to the famous square, Djemaa el-Fna, only minutes from our hotel. We walked through the Souks (small alleys packed with little shops selling food (lots of delicious nuts, nougat and fish and meat) and lots of souvenirs like lamps, tajines and rugs) to the Ali Ben Youssef Medersa. They used to teach the Koran there. The walls are beautifully carved. We then had lunch at the square. Arjen went back to the hotel to get some sleep. Patricia walked to the Koutoubia Mosque with the 2 others before she went back to the hotel too. Around 6.30pm we walked to the square to meet up with a former colleague of Patrica and her husband. We had a lovely dinner before we walked across the square (watching all that goes on at night there) to a different cafe for coffee/tea. After that we headed back to our hotel.

May 19: Marrakech - Imi-n-Ifri - Ikhf-n-Ighr

Around 8 we went to the breakfast room to meet the rest of the group. After breakfast we took our bags and headed for the mini-bus that would take us to the start of the trip. We stopped at Imi-n-Ifri to have lunch and walk underneath the natural bridge. At a certain point when you look back, the sky that you can see has the shape of Africa. Around 4pm we arrived at Ikhf-n-Ighr at our lodge. We had a room together with two other couples. After making our beds, we had tea at the rooftop terrace. Warning: Moroccon tea is very sweet. Patricia was consulted to look at the knee of a local lady who was kicked by a cow. At dinner we did a quick round of introductions, including our guide Mohammed, cook Mohammed and assistent cook Hamid.

May 20: Ikhf-n-Ighr - First Campsite (2.323m / 7,743ft.)

We had an early start. The first part of this day we walked through Orchards (apple, pineapple and apricot) and fields with beautiful orchids and poppies. After lunch the path headed up quite steeply before we reached a plateau close to our campsite (2.323m / 7,743ft.). We had tea when we arrived there and later on a lovely dinner.

May 21: First Campsite (2.323m / 7,743ft.) - Abachkou - Second Campsite (2.278m / 7,593 ft.)

When Patricia woke up at 1.30 it was raining outside. She decided to wait and not go out to the toilet tent. When we got up at 6.15 we discovered that at some point, the rain had turned into snow... Not what we had expected in Morocco :) After breakfast we walked up to a ledge (2.393m / 7,977 ft.) and then slowly down to Abachkou (1.656m / 5,520 ft.) through fields of juniper. The sun was already shining by then. From Abachkou we followed a stream through some small villages. The people here only have had electricity since one or two years. After a long lunch with Tajine and salads we had to climb a long time up to the campsite (2.278m / 7,593 ft.) where we arrived at 6.15pm. As it would be a chilly night we added the fleecebag to our sleeping bag.

May 22: Second Campsite (2.278m / 7,593 ft.) - Third Campsite (2.540m / 8,467ft)

After a clear night, we woke up with ice on the tent. We started going up to a location where some rock drawings could be found - 4000 year old neolythical rock carvings. From there it was down and up and down across a couple of passes (the highest at 2.909m / 9,697ft.) before a steep descent to 2.540m / 8,467ft. Our tents had already been put up by the staff, so we could relax some time before dinner.

May 23: Third Campsite (2.540m / 8,467ft) - Tizi Tissili - Fourth Campsite (2.276m / 7,587ft)

Because it would be a short day, we could sleep a bit longer. Just after 9 we started walking. The first bit was down to a river. We bought some sweets and sodas on the way down in a small shop. The lowest point was at 2.149m / 7,163ft. from there we climbed to Tizi Tissili - the "always windy" pass. From there we went back down to our campsite (2.276m / 7,587ft) where we arrived at 1pm. After lunch we spent the afternoon sitting in the sun, reading a bit. After a great evening meal we went to bed. Fortunately the temperature was a lot more enjoyable.

May 24: Fourth Campsite (2.276m / 7,587ft) - Ait-Ali-n-Ito (1.870m / 6,233ft)

After a windy but warm night we had breakfast in the sun. We followed a path next to the river as the water was too high to wade through the river itself. After that we followed a road through some villages before we were able to walk on the river bed of a small river. We had lunch and after that followed a dirt road to a gîte (1.870m / 6,233ft). We shared a room with another couple. The shop under the gîte was able to sell quite some sodas and cookies after Patricia had asked if it was open - almost everyone longed for a soda. We sat outside in the sun until it became too chilly.

May 25: Ait-Ali-n-Ito (1.870m / 6,233ft) - Tasgaiwart (2.314m / 7,713ft)

After an early start, we followed a dirtroad through the green valley. Occasionally we had to cross the river. The water was cold, but it was only for a short moment. We had lunch in someone's house. From there we walked to Amezri and after that to our campsite in the outskirts of Tasgaiwart (2.314m / 7,713ft). The town is located at the end of a valley with beautifully coloured rock all around it.

May 26: Tasgaiwart (2.314m / 7,713ft) - Plateau de Tarkeddid (2.897m / 9,657ft)

Again we made an early start as we had a long climb ahead of us to the plateau (from 2.314m / 7,713ft up to 3.202m / 10,673ft). From the ridge the plateau went slightly up to 3.215m / 10,717ft. before we went down the last bit to our campsite (2.897m / 9,657ft) at the start of the Plateau de Tarkeddid. A nice green field next to a small stream so we could wash our hair (or at least, Arjen did). We went to bed early as we would have to get up very early to go to the top of M'Goun the next day.

May 27: Plateau de Tarkeddid (2.897m / 9,657ft) - Top of M'Goun / Oumsoud (4.076m / 13,587ft) - Plateau de Tarkeddid (2.897m / 9,657ft)

At 4.50am we started walking. It was dark for at least the first hour. We headed up to a pass (Tizi n Oumassin?) at 3.660m / 12,200ft where we arrived at 8am. We had to cross a couple of snowfields before the terrain got steeper. We thought we'd reached the top, but our guide had fooled us. It was only the false pass at 3.988m / 13,293ft. We then had to walk on the ridge (up and down and up again) for another 1.5 miles before we finally reached the top (Oumsoud) at 4.076m / 13,587ft at 10.49am (Patricia) and 10.54am (Arjen). By then we had already been walking some 8 miles and were only halfway as we had to walk the same way back. It was a long day as we arrived back at the campsite almost 12 hours after we'd left. It was great to take off the shoes and walk on the grass with bare feet...

May 28: Plateau de Tarkeddid (2.897m / 9,657ft) - Seventh Campsite (2.395m / 7,983ft)

We started with a couple of mile across the Plateau de Tarkeddid before we went up and over the ridge on the left side. From the ridge we had a great view of the M'Goun range.On the other side it went down quite steep. Just after 1pm we arrived at the campsite (2.395m / 7,983ft). After dinner we gave the tips to our mule-men and said goodbye as they would drop off our luggage the next day in the gîte and move on straightaway. They made music and sang some songs for us. Wonderful!

May 29: Seventh Campsite (2.395m / 7,983ft) - Ikhf-n-Ighr

We walked through bushes, passing a lot of goats, on the way down to Arous. We bought some souvenirs there (rose soap and rose hand cream; as we were in the valley of the roses) before heading back to the gîte in Ikhf-n-Ighr. Mohammed made sure we hade a room to ourselves; this gave us a lot of room to re-pack our luggage.

May 30: Ikhf-n-Ighr - Azilal - Ouzoud Falls - Marrakech

We drove from Ikhf-n-Ighr to Azilal. We had coffee there before we continued to the falls of Ouzoud. We walked all the way down to the bottom of the falls. and then back up a bit to have lunch. We then went back to Marrakech. We arrived at the hotel after 5pm and got the same room as before the trek. The two of us went for dinner at the main square in one of the stalles (Chez Aicha). The food was delicious. We bought some cookies that we ate back in our room.

May 31: Marrakech

We went walking through Marrakech. First we wanted to see the Mouassine fountain, but we were unable to find it. We walked through the Souks to the Badi palace. The palace is famous for its mosaic floors and storches that live on its roof. From there we went to the Saadian tombes. We then went back to the main square for lunch. Then into the Souks again and this time we did find the Mouassine fountain. Not the nicest attraction in Marrakech though. We bought some nuts at one of the stalles and went back to the hotel to shower. We had agreed to meet the rest of the group at the post office. From there we went to Café Arabe for drinks (one of the few spots where beer - even Moroccon brewn - is served) at the rooftop terrace. We then went for dinner at Riad Omar. We thanked Bea (our Dutch guide) and said goodbye to some of the group as we would leave early the next morning and not all would take the same bus to the airport.

June 1: Marrakech - Home

Our plane left a bit late, but we had a good flight to Amsterdam where we arrived late in the afternoon. We were back home around 5pm.