15.09.2015 - 15.09.2015
Today we leave the hectic city life of Marrakech [Marrakech-travel-guide-1082075] behind to go hiking in the High Atlas mountains at Imlil [Imlil-travel-guide-1080938]. This one day excursion is optional so not the whole group is going for this hike. Our tour guide knows this area very well so we don't need a special mountain guide to show us around. We do need a mini bus and a driver to get us to the start of the trip and in the afternoon back to Marrakech. After breakfast, around 9 o'clock the bus arrives and were off to Imlil. It's a big difference from the city, less traffic, a lot less traffic, and as we start walking even no traffic at all. We walk through a forests of walnut trees where locals are harvesting the nuts. It reminds me of the walnut tree in my garden, I did not take into account the harvest time for walnuts, what's my garden gonna look like when I get home ? After a bit we leave the trees behind to climb higher up the mountain. The village in the distance is where we are going to have lunch, good to know but it's still a long walk away. We all enjoy the beautiful landscape of the High Atlas and now and then we stop and our guide tells us something about the area, flowers and birds. Some local people on a donkey pass us on the narrow path, it's the only traffic up here. In the village on the other side of thevalley we can see some cars parked, but most group members try to keep it out of frame while taking pictures not to spoil the magical view. We walk down into the valley and into the walnut forrest again and the up into the village. The last bit to the lunch spot, the steep stretch of asphalt is difficult for me, I'm getting tired and I'm hungry. The lunch makes up for all discomforts. The location is Tamatert guesthouse. Where we have our tagine lunch in the sitting room. Shoes off before entering! The lunch was great, the typical tagine meal, but the walk made us all appreciate it a lot more. After lunch we walked back to the bus and in the afternoon we were back in Marrakech. To top it off we decided to have dinner on the Jemaa el fna square. The square looks totally different from day time, lots of small restaurant stalls have emerged. Our guide said he knew a good one so we followed him twice around the block to land at number 41 (Chez Ssaid) but he was right, it was a good one!