'For Adventures of a lifetime'

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A GENTLE INTRO - the small col

The morning brought sleepy eyes and disoriented faces, our first time sleeping in a tent in Morocco is one we will remember forever. Breakfast was served at 7:00am which consisted of pancakes and bread along with a wide range of toppings and hot drinks.

After breakfast we finished packing and collapsed our tents. We had planned the previous night to set out at 7:45am however we had underestimated how unprepared and disorganised we actually were. In the end we were ready to go by 8:15am. As a collective we took our larger rucksack down to the car and also helped bring down the cooks tent and equipment. We cleared up the campsite so it was tidy for the next campers. 

Now we were ready to set off.
It seemed we had picked up a friendly companion in the form of a dog who we have named Sebastian. Sebastian had a distinct light tan coloured fur with matching eyes. He began to follow us. At first we were apprehensive on whether we should let him tag along but with confirmation from Cliff, Miss Perreau and our guide Mohammed, we accepted Sebastian and enjoyed his constant company.

We started the slow walk up the valley where we passed through traditional Berber villages which were hidden by the incredible landscape filled with vibrant greens and rugged mountains of the high Atlas.

Passing through the village, we greeted the locals in their native tongue which we had learned from Mohammed. The villagers were all ecstatic to see us and would greet us back. Especially the children who always seemed to have a smile across their face even though they're living in a condition much worse than ours. I began to realise how little they have in in comparison to how much we have. 

The intensity of the trek had hit us but we kept the morale at a consistent high with the support of our teammates through encouraging words and singing to distract us. 
The road was fairly treacherous so we made sure that anyone struggling had a helping hand. We climbed all the way through a gorgeous pine forest, to we reached the high point of our day, Tamatart which is a col (a col is the point where two mountains meet, could be referred to as a pass).

At the col, we felt a sense of achievement and was overwhelmed by the view. Being 2150 metres above ground level had meant that weather conditions were very vigorous. Forceful winds blew off our hands which were retrieved by Cliff. Dust continuously got into our eyes and we had to keep applying suntan lotion as we were even more exposed to the sun. 
Sebastian had made it to the top too and was resting under shade. There was a local shop where Sadian and Saif kindly bought chocolate for everyone. 

After being rested we started the descent down along with Sebastian. We continued to sing and be supportive. After 4 hours of trekking we came to the village of Amgdal.
At camp we all unloaded the luggage and setup our tents. Our campsite was hanging over a beautiful village and the scene consisted of mountains, valleys and plants.

We started to relax, cooling ourselves in our very own little stream. Passing by wasa fellow trekking group. Sebastian had noticed them and dashed towards them. He started to follow them. A worried Brinda frantically beckoned Sebastian to come back. Absent mindedly Sebastian took no notice and continued to walk on. Brinda and Sadian tried their best to return Sebastian but failed. We believed he was gone forever and felt betrayed by our beloved friend.

As a group along with Mohammed were went down to an enclosed stream bed. There we bathed out tired muscles in the translucent waters. We climbed boulders and piled up rocks which the local children encouraging entertain themselves with. 

Back at the camp we relaxed with stories and games. The game 'zap' became popular and we included Mohammed too. We dined on pasta, sardines and salad and for dessert we had oranges. Meals in Morocco are always accompanied by mint tea and bread we all sat on the floor together and a sense of family is felt.

We stayed in the tent till dark where we chatted, sang and played cards. Once out, we gazed            up at the spectacular, pollutant free sky. There we were astonished by the beautiful stars that were glistening against the darkness. We felt small amongst the infinitive sky.

We then headed to bed after an eventful day.


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