The team of 17 students and 6 adults departs for Marrakech from London Gatwick on Saturday 11th July.
Leader: Mike Wynne
A 7-day trek in the High Atlas takes the group through remote valleys and over high passes, culminating with an ascent of Mount Toubkal (4165m), the highest peak in North Africa. This will be followed by a 4-day excursion out the Cheggaga dunes, reputedly the highest in Morocco, and finishes with a day to do the shopping in Marrakech. Mike first took this school to Morocco in 1987, and has travelled with them to many destinations such as Peru, Pakistan, India and Kyrgyzstan in the intervening years. Long may the school’s adventurous spirit continue, albeit under different leadership if Mr Glover really does retire!
The first trekking day took us over Tizi nou Addi 3000m to Oukaimeden. We then had an exciting afternoon storm yesterday but it’s been dry so far today. All going well today.
Mike called in today with an update for the group who are all well. The weather for the last few days has been sunny mornings with thunderstorms building in the afternoons followed by the clouds clearing in the evenings. Because of this, they have decided to take a slightly different route today to avoid a deep gorge in the afternoon, thus eliminating the risk of flash floods.
So as Mike called, everyone is sat at the top of a 3500m pass nibbling sardines and cheese and enjoying the sunshine and views over to Marrakech. They will shortly descend for 2.5 hours to their camp at Azib Likenpt to have a proper meal and rest after their 5.30am start today.
Most days involve 6 – 7.5 hours walking. Tomorrow will be a slightly less strenuous day over a small col at 3000m and dropping down to the village of Amsouzerte at 1700m for their next camp. They are expecting the temperatures to be high at this lower altitude as in Marrakech it was over 40 degrees, and although they currently need their jackets on, this shouldn’t be the case lower down. Mike expects there will be no mobile signal from now until tomorrow afternoon, but will contact us with the next update when he can.
We are back on schedule now and the kids are enjoying a swim in a Lake surrounded by mountains and rocky terrain. We had a short day today, only 4 hours and enjoyed fine weather with the cloud building through the day. In general the weather has stayed dry for us over the last few days.
The kids are continuing to gel well as a group and enjoying good times.
The group are enjoying a free day of relaxaton in Aremd after 7 days of trekking finishing with a successful ascent of Toubkal yesterday. We have only had a little illness which has not slowed our progress at all. Now everyone seems 100% fit and ready for the second part of the trip out to the Sahara tomorrow.
All now in the hotel (with a welcome pool) in Ouarzazate with outside temperature of 39 degrees. We visited Ait Ben Haddou on the way today.
AM: Sunrise from the from the roof of out hotel in Ouarzazate this morning at 0640. Should be even better from the top of a sand dune tomorrow.
PM: Arrived safely at our desert oasis of Chex le Pacha
This morning we all enjoyed watching the sunrise from the top of one of Morocco’s highest dunes at Erg Cheggaga. Out here daytime temperatures reach 50 degrees and at night dont drop much below 30. We all slept outside last night under just a sheet at our desert camp. There was no one else in sight. Now we are back ag Chez le Pacha, cooling off in the pool before the long drive back to Marrakech tomorrow.