Day 1 – Tour of Marrakech
A horse and carriage ride to Jemaa el Fna, the central square in Marrakech started our tour of this magical city. A guided tour of the markets took us through the many small shops and workshops producing everything from shoes and bags to ornate metalwork, padlocks and lamps. The children particularly enjoyed walking through the markets, learning to bargain with the shop keepers, and saying ‘No thank you’ to the endless requests for their attention.
The children particularly noticed the differences from home, from simple things like the markings and signs on the road to the cobra snakes and monkeys on display in the central square. They also learnt accept and appreciate the different way of life and culture.
Day 2 – Into the mountains and new friends
The next day we headed up into the Atlas Mountains. The children on the tour got on well, and they met their mules who would also became their friends for the next five days. The children were of a similar age which allowed them to play and explore together, with some independence from the adults. And the adults got some time to themselves which was a bonus!
Day 3 – Mules to 8,200 feet
While the adults walked, the children climbed aboard their mule and enjoyed the mountainous scenery. This helped keep up the pace of the walking, and they thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of riding the mules up the mountain paths. They all formed a close bond with their mules, a new experience, something they felt was different from what their friends may have done during the holidays.
Day 4 – The final push to 10,000 feet
Today the mules were left behind, and we all walked up to 10,000 feet. A real achievement for everyone, and something the children were particularly proud of. The scenery was stunning, with dramatic mountain vistas, waterfalls, herds of goats and local Berbers going about their daily routine.
Day 5 – Return journey
Heading back down the mountain the next day we returned to our first night’s accommodation. While the nights were cool, but not cold, the sun was hot during the day – don’t forget the sun cream! The food was simple but plentiful, and more than sufficient. The lunches in particular were fresh, tasty and satisfying after a morning of walking.
Day 6 – Back to Marrakech
A final day in Marrakech allowed for some last-minute shopping in the souks for souvenirs and presents to take home. The hotel had a swimming pool which was a welcome respite from the heat in Marrakech, and somewhere for the children to play with their new friends.
Leaving for home, details were shared as the children didn’t want to lose contact with their new friends. They all agreed that it was a fascinating and memorable holiday.