Most Inspirational Moment
Highlights include trekking through beautiful remote locations, reaching the top of one of the highest summits in the region, bathing in a natural series of rock pools, viewing a myriad of stars and galaxies in the clear night sky and learning the ways of Bear Grylls from our dear mentor James. He was one of the four Brits in our group. We were also fortunate to have one Belgian and a married couple from Australia. We were all strangers when we touched down in Agadir but we bonded almost from the get go.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Our group was led by the Lahcan, an expert guide who explained where we would be trekking. We all came to appreciate his wisdom, experience and good humour as the days rolled by. He showed us the way as we headed up, up, up and then down, down, down pointing out the landmarks and of course dangers along the way. He treated us to nuts, dates and tea and fascinated us with tales of local lore. He was also supported by an attentive team – which included an excellent chef (Hassan), driver, two marvellous mules and their handlers.
Advice for Potential Travellers
By day we trekked through remote landscapes; climbing up rugged, barren rocks and back down to lush irrigated green valleys. Some of the walks were challenging and we encountered ever changing temperatures – so layers of clothing were vital. On some of the nights we struggled to sleep in our tents due to high winds; but we were always happy. Trekking gives your body and brain a work out, but make sure you read the small print: this adventure is an eight day detox. No need to be afraid... it will reawaken your senses and make you feel alive.
The Anti-Atlas area is a Berber region, made up of sparsely inhabited villages – each one with a mosque – and the women who live there grow argan, wheat, barley, olives, figs and almonds. In recent years the men have increasingly gravitated to larger cities where they can find work to support the families they have left behind. During our week we were fortunate enough to meet some of those who have chosen to remain and maintain a nomadic lifestyle with their sheep and goats in the remote mountains. I should also add that we didn’t see any other tourists while we were out in the wild. Along the way you’ll see areas rich in minerals. The Anti-Atlas region contains sources of copper, manganese, gold and silver as well as strategic metals such as cobalt, tin and titanium. On our way to the top of Jebel Aklim we saw wild rosemary bushes, which Moroccans use in their tea along with bay leaves and mint. We were even lucky enough to sample argan oil with fresh bread at Fatima’s house in the village of M'dint, or City of Cats (oddly, no cats were to be seen when we were there). Fatima also gave us some honey circa 2019 and 2018 as well as mint tea (which Moroccans like to drink five or six times a day with an abundance of sugar). The tea itself, we were reliably informed, derives from China. At night we glamped in tents and were treated to amazing dishes with fascinating flavour combinations made from ingredients sourced fresh from markets every day. There was also plenty of tasty food at breakfast and lunch; and if anyone was hungry there was always afternoon tea and a tasty snack when we reached camp at the end of each day. In the evenings we were served a real treat as far as the night skies were concerned. The lack of air and light pollution meant we could see a myriad of stars and galaxies. It was then time to retreat to our tents to begin knocking out the zzzz's (apologies once again for my over amplified efforts). The final night ended in comfort at a beautiful Riad with swimming pool, restaurant, wi-fi and ensuite bathrooms. A long soak in a hot bath is the perfect antidote to a week in the wild with nothing but wet wipes. I returned to the UK reinvigorated and ready to reconnect with the real world. Undiscovered Atlas is a great team adventure and I would highly recommend it. I may never have the good fortune to meet any of the members of my team again but I would consider them friends for life.