This was a fantastic trip to the hidden Morocco that not many people get to see. Off the beaten track - definately, and a great experience helping the villagers and the school. Great fun as well as hard work, and thoroughly rewarding on many levels!
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Too many to mention! El Fna square in Marrakech was madness but glad we visited it. Riad Bledna - really nice, with a little bit of tranquility with the perfect hosts in Mohammed and Jamil. Tighza village - totally off that beaten track and like stepping back in time, the people were so friendly and again brilliant hosts in Carolyn and Mohammed at the kasbah. Voluntary work in the village - tiring but very rewarding helping the locals with their cement bucket chain gang and breezeblocks. Trekking up to the valley and having our "elevenses" sat in such a peaceful location on rocks by a river and being given mint tea out of a silver teapot - very surreal!
And then on to Essaouira and the school which was enlightening to see those little children who were so pleased to receive a new toothbrush! And even more pleased when we left them with a newly painted school.
It was a great group of people on the trip, from different walks of life and 5 different countries who got on so well together and helped each other as well as having such a laugh.
I would definately return as it was a truely inspirational trip in many ways.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Andy was a great tour leader, very knowledgable and passionate about Morocco and the voluntary projects that we visited. He was also very organised and had clearly made many friends in Morocco on his past visits as they were so thrilled to see him again. A really well planned trip.
The group nicknamed him "Top rep" - and he really was.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Just go, enjoy yourself and be prepared to muck in and you will have a great time. Whether it be painting, building, smashing rocks, or being in a cement bucket chain gang, etc etc etc. It's all for such a good cause and very rewarding.
I was dubious before I went as this was my first holiday on my own, but honestly it was brilliant and a great way to make friends and do something completely different that not many people get the chance to do. I am so grateful for the memories, photos and friendships that I have made on the trip.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just a huge "Thank you!" to Andy and Exodus for arranging such a good holiday. Yes it is completely different than lying on a beach for a week, but so much more worthwhile.
In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger - "I'll be back"!