The scenery never fails to amaze me. This is a country so diverse….you can ride camels in the desert, and then be in the snow capped Atlas Mountains….red rocks in the foreground, and snow capped peaks in the background.
We drove over the spectacular Tizi n’ Tichka Pass (2250 metres above sea level), and headed to The town of Imil where we stored our main luggage. Our day packs were carried up the steep incline to our homestay by our trusty mule.
Our one hour trek took us to our home stay at the traditional mountain village of Amoud. It was chilly here tonight, but they lit a fire in the common area to keep us warm. The home stay was modest, and cozy. Gals shared one room, guys shared another. We all played our new favorite international game of Uno….brings out the competitive nature in us….each “country” playing for bragging rights! Everyone gets along so well, it’s been amazing travelling with them. Many in our group are solo travellers, and everyday someone says they can’t believe how well we all get along and how lucky we are. We all have a great, teasing sense of humor and bonded quickly. Blessed😀
The next day was to start with a four hour hike, but the forecast was for snow and it was going to be wet. Instead, three of the group went on a short hike, came back for us, and then we did a 2 hour hike through the mountain village and back to the town below where we stored our bags.
The views from the home stay terrace were spectacular!
On the way back down, I had my own adventure….stopping to take photos, I got behind and lost my group…whoops! The village pathways are so windy and narrow, I couldn’t find my way until a couple of locals helped me out. They had one of the boys take me through the village to find my peeps. First group we found….wrong one…. so, we went a different direction, and we found them! I have a feeling this wasn’t the first time he helped a lost soul :). I gave him 50 dirhams…about $6 Canadian, which is quite a bit for here, and he was pretty excited. I figured it was worth it! He did a great job, and I wasn’t worried at all….just adds to the experience!
We made our way to town and headed to Essaouira which will be our home base for two nights. Along the way we stopped at a winery as well as an argon Oil cooperative. Argon oil is a plant oil from the argan tree endemic to Morocco. It is used in cooking oil, cosmetics, and also honey…..some honey is coming back with me 🙂
We have now checked into our riad in the Medina of Essaouira. We had a wonderful seafood dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. A beautiful spot.
We are enjoying every minute of our time here….we have a few more days, and while it will be nice to move on….to Spain for me, and home for others, it will be bitter sweet. But, in the interim, we have some exploring to do in Essaouira and Marrakech.