Mules & Mountain Air – Trekking in the Atlas Mountains

“The mountains are calling and I must go”  – John Muir

I had a gap in my ‘travelling about finding myself schedule’ and I had been home in the UK for a few weeks, planning my next extended trip, but I had a over a month before that trip started, I was getting bored and frustrated that I wasn’t using my time productively – I felt the need to be somewhere remote and wild.  I wanted to spend a couple of weeks doing something active, preferable walking or trekking. Morocco was never a place I had thought about travelling to, but after some not very in-depth research it seemed to tick all the boxes:  short flight from the UK, good weather, mountains, somewhere I had never been.  I soon found a reasonably priced package walking in the Atlas Mountains with flights and accommodation planned out for me, perfect…

The trip began in Marrakech where I met my new travelling companions and spend a few days exploring the city. See Marrakech post

From Marrakech we headed into Moroccan countryside where small villages were surrounded by lush green farmland and onto winding roads surrounded by rocky mountains topped with snow. We continued up until we reached the highest point on our journey the Tizi’n’Tichka pass the highest road pass in Morocco.

Tizi'n'Tichka

Tizi’n’Tichka Pass on route to the mountains

Our next stop was at Telouet where we visited The Kasbah, a beautiful building now derelict which was the home/fortress of Thami El Glaoui  and his brother Madani ‘The Lords of The Atlas’ Berber tribesmen who rose to be powerful leaders in Morocco until the 50’s.

Telouet Kasbah

Telouet Kasbah – starting to crumble

Telouet Kasbah

Beautiful mosaics adorn the walls of the palace

Telouet Kasbah

A view of the village of Telouet and the High Atlas Moutnians

Our final destination (by bus) was the small village of Anmiter where we ate lunch  before we walked uphill for an hour to our base for the next few days, our bags were transferred to Mules!!!!

Morocco

Baggage transport vehicle!

Tighzar

Tighzar Village, our home for a while

Telouet Kasbah

Our Lovely Riad

The walking in the area was much more varied than I had expected. The first day our guide Hassan took us through the village and down into the farmland below where we got to see the amazing irrigation systems that have been set up to direct water from the mountain streams through fields and orchards.

Atlas Mountains

Barley fields

Atlas Mountains irrigation

Man made channel high in the mountains

Morocco

Almond, Walnut and fruit trees grow in the valleys despite the arid landscape.

Our second day of walking took in a different landscape, one of deep canyons carved out by flash floods and cold dry exposed mountains.

Atlas Mountains

You wouldn’t want to be in this gorge if the rain came!

Atlas Mountains

Pretty cold and windy at this hight

Atlas Mountains

The view is worth it though, form here most of the Atlas Mountain range.

Our last day involved an epic 32 km long 700m up trek  took us to Lake Tamda, lying between the impressive peaks of Jebel Anghomar and Jebel Tamda.

Trekking Atlas Mountains

Form an orderly line..

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Reaching the lake

Trekking Atlas Mountains

Brrrrrrrrrr..

Lake Tamda

Beautiful turquoise lake Tamda

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Hot Lunch supplied by mule.

Despite the beautiful blue skies it was bone shakingly cold and windy, but worth every minute.

The Atlas mountains is the perfect place for a bit of a digital detox, the air is clean and fresh and the scenery is stunning. I felt a million miles away from home just a short flight from the Uk!

My trip to the Atlas Mountains was arranged with Exodus Travel flights and all: Atlas Panorama  but there are many companies offering similar getaways in the region. I visited in March which appeared to be the perfect time of year, it was sunny and cold in the mountains and warm but not too hot in the city. 

 

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