The contrasts were amazing, the hustle and bustle and noise of Marakesh compared to the calm, peace and quiet in Tighza.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Everyday the brilliant blue sky for us sun starved Brits!
The food - tasty, varied and plentiful, the porridge kept us going in the mornings.
The scenery in the mountains and learning a little of the hard life of the villagers, which has changed litle in 500 years.
The people we met were unfailingly cheerful and friendly.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Hassan was great. He was kind, patient and gentle. Very happy to answer our questions which he must have heard a million times before. He worked very hard and only seemed to be off duty when we were asleep. He was encouraging on the walks too. A real treasure!
Mohammed gave us a very interesting tour of Marrakesh.
The cook at the gite was great, we specially welcomed the hot tea and food on our picnics.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Hot water bottle to get you off to sleep
Pillows and blankets provided, we were always warm at night sleeping in thermals. Couples had their own room which was a bonus.
No shoes in the dining area so good idea to take thick socks. As others have said it really does get cold up in the mountains you do need thermals and fleeces, hats and gloves. The puddles were frozen when we were walking.
Andrex wipes useful for a 'wash' in the morning, and slip on shoes to go to the shower - ones you can wear socks with.
Blisteze seemed to be the best for preventing chapped lips. Also soluble vitamin C tablets to make the treated water more drinkable.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
This was such a great holiday. We always felt safe, everything was well organised too. Maybe we were lucky as our group of 16 got on very well. It is so interesting hearing other travellers tales.
It is not a restful holiday, although they do say a change is as good as a rest. We were on the go most of the time and ready for bed by 9.30! The walks were quite challenging, especially the last 32km walk, which involved lots of walking on stones as well as the climbing. Some people in the group chose not to do it. The 3 walks were graded to build up our stamina, though I would say you have to be reasponably fit to enjoy them. We found walking poles invaluable.
The scenery is stunning, amazing. Coming back to Marrakesh didn't feel a scary as it did on the first day and we enjoyed the souks and eating freshly cooked food at market stalls in the square.
If you want to shop then I recommend getting 'Shopping in Marrakesh' by Susan Simon. it is a lovelybook in its own right , describing various shops, with photographs of each one. I got it from Amazon and it is very useful, explaining where you can buy different things , giving walking maps and recommending reliable traders. The ladies in the group loved it!
Last of all check the website for the latest ideas of what the villagers need most at the time you are going. I know it takes time, but they have so little...........................
We came back feeling envigorated and refreshed, and would really like to visit Morocco again.