Andrew MundyMarocco, Africa

The Full Moroccan Experience

Andrew MundyMarocco, Africa
The Full Moroccan Experience

Thursday. We arrive at an overcast Marrakech airport. Luckily it is a short journey to the hotel. A shower and then dinner – everyone is tired.

Good Friday. A gentle circular walk from Asni to TassaOuirgane.Our hotel roof is a good vantage point to see the city. The Koutoubia Mosque with its 70-metre minaret is a good landmark if you forget your map and compass.

Saturday. We spent the morning taking a guided tour of the city and its souks. It is very crowded, noisy and hot, but fun. Somehow our group refrain from buying. We will make up for this later!

The afternoon is tranquil with a visit to the JardinMajorelle. This is a lovely garden and a must see. At least 300 plant species one of which is pictured.There is also an interesting Berber museum to seehere.

Sunday. Today is the long walk from Aghbalou to Anins. On the climb we hear a cuckoo and a nightingale; will Fred write to The Times? We meet three local women who ask if they can join our party:‘of course,’ we say.

Monday. The rest day and we all decide to go to Essaouira and the seaside. A change from the noise and bustle of Marrakech! Close to Essaouira we see goats in the trees, no kidding! The town is interesting and we all enjoy a fish lunch (£5) cooked on a barbeque. The harbour is restful with a fish market and lots going on. All too soon it is time to go back to our hotel,mostof us now burdened with purchases.

Tuesday. The walk today is a pleasant 7 milestroll from MoulayBrahim. In the evening we go to see the main square (Djemaa el-Fna) before nightfall. The square is amazing with snake charmers, acrobats, story tellers and Ramblers. As the light fails people eat and the smoke from the cooking drifts over the square. There are thousands of people.

Wednesday. A gentle walk around SettiFatma. We climb to 5,800 feet but luckily not from sea level. Getting back to the coach we find a massive traffic jam – apparently it is a holiday for the populace.

Thursday. There is plenty of time to visit the souks again before the afternoon flight home.

Overall, we had a busy and enjoyable holiday withsouks, museums, gardens, walks, cafes, restaurants and lots of sun.I won’t mention the mopeds that buzz around everywhere (at night with no lights) smelling of castor oil, and how to cross a roadin Marrakech which at first is daunting but as the holiday goes on becomes easier!

Our group was laid back (a Ramblers trait) and everyone got on well. Bill, our leader, was exceptional and made the trip a pleasure.