This trip is part of the week-long holiday in Morocco during December 2016. See trip essentials on a separate post.
This is one of those trips where we weren’t expecting much, but turned out to be pretty amazing. Our love for nature, and specifically, for the mountains, is a given. If we can and if applicable, in all of our trips, we try to include in our itinerary a trip to the mountains. And the trip to Marrakech back in December 2016 was no exception.
I don’t know, but the thought of climbing a mountain is something that always makes me look forward to in a trip. I just have this fascination of being on top of the ruggedness of the earth and overlooking the rest of it. And so a day was reserved to explore the highest lands of North Africa, whilst we were in Marrakech. This of course was not a DIY; we had to book for a tour with Atlas Pathfinders, and everything was handled by them. Thankfully.
The day before the trip, I messaged our tour agency contact to ask about what the weather is going to look like on the day of the hike. For some reason I couldn’t work it out with my iPhone’s weather app (hoho!). He said to wear warm clothes and proper hiking shoes as apparently it is snowing. And then, I started to worry. Snow? Wait, I don’t think I am prepared to hike on a snowy mountain, I thought. Before coming into Marrakech, I imagined myself hiking on green valleys like those in Banaue, Philippines or those in the Cusco Region in Peru! But no, I had to buy a new jumper to wear on the hike. ;)
The drive from Marrakech to the hike’s jump off point was very scenic–there were snow-capped mountains of the Atlas Range welcoming us as we drove past the valleys of Morocco.
And then we arrived at the jump off point—upon getting off the vehicle, I almost slipped as I stepped on the freshly-snowed road. That wasn’t a good start, I thought. Luckily, our tour guide was quick on holding me before I hit the ground, butt-first. That would have been a disaster!
Mubarak, our tour guide, led us through the hike and took photos of me and Phil. I was so amazed at the snowy trail—pardon my naivety, but it was my first time to trek on snow! It was a mix of excitement and worry to be honest; I was extremely impressed by the landscape at the same time a bit worried that I might slip and/or that my feet will just freeze, because heck, I was wearing a pair of trainers that’re just good for city walking!
Buy hey! I survived without stumbling!
Whilst it was too bright for Phil (because yeah, he forgot to bring his sunglasses!), every bend, and every ascent and descent, was just “wow” for me. I was just thrilled and amazed of the trail. After all, it’s not every day that we get to hike on snow. Hence, I had countless photos and videos on my phone and go pro!
We passed by three or four villages around the area and saw quite a number of traditional Berber houses siting on the foothills of the mountains.
And where we had our lunch—it was at the rooftop of one of the Berber houses where our tour coordinator, Rashid (I hope I remember his name correctly) met us. Rashid was accommodating, too, like Mubarak, our tour guide. Therefore, I highly recommend them.
Anyway, the backdrop was just too perfect; I can’t explain the feeling. I’m a sucker for this kind of view, so pardon me. That feeling where I was just too elated that I’m almost lost for words–the mountains were just pretty in white, I was completely left in awe.
Looking back now, I can’t help but wonder whether it would be the same feeling of being amazed had it not snowed the day before. I don’t know, I was (and am) just so glad of that experience and thought that we were just at the perfect timing of doing the trek to the Atlas mountains that day.
This experience is definitely one of my favourites to date.