A typical Trekking Day in the High Atlas or Sahara Desert
The trekking day usually begins at around 7am with a bassin of warm water for washing and cleaning brought to your tent. Before breakfast, you prepare yourself for the day ahead, including packing your daypack and stow your personal gear in your kit-bags for porterage by the mules or camels. While you are eating breakfast, the crew of muleteers will take down the tents, clean the campsite and start to make up the loads for the pack-mules or pack-camels to carry directly to the next camp. After a hearty breakfast, it is time to start the day’s walk to the next campsite, with the muleteers and their mules or camels leaving independently of us, around the same time or shortly afterward. All you have to carry is only your backpack containing your personal items that you need during the trekking time like a water bottle, warm fleece, camera and any other items you may need on the trail. It is the responsibility of your trekking companions to perform all the camp works, including leaving all the campsites clean and to guide on the route.
Usually the morning’s walk to the lunch spot takes about 3-4 hours each day. The pace of the trek is leisurely and there is no need to rush as the day has been planned so that you have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, observing sights and sounds of nature, take photos and explore the local villages, frequently stopping along the way for short breaks, meeting the locals and you will soon become familiar with the universal greeting of Berbers «Salam O Aleikoum».
Lunch break will be around midday in a pleasant shaded place, usually by the river or near a village for the best possible views. The Berber muleteers and cameleers are fast walkers and will trek ahead to set up a picnic lunch and boil water for hot drinks. The cook and kitchen assistant serve you a cup of mint tea upon arrival, followed by hot lunch which is hearty and very delicious. The menus are always varied and delicious, and consist of fresh vegetables, rice, a variety of pasta dishes, lentils, cheese, salads, fish, fresh fruits etc. The lunch break lasts for about a couple of hours giving you the opportunity to relax in the heat of the day, chatting with other trekkers or taking in the local scenery or simply or maybe have a power-nap before continuing to your overnight accommodation.
There is short walking after lunch and normally you will get into camp by mid-afternoon. Usually our Berber crew and their mules will pass us and head to the next campsite to set everything up, your sleeping tents, kitchen tents, dining tents and bathroom tent are pitched before our arrival. Upon arrival, mint tea or coffee with biscuits or doughnut will be served in the dining tent, and hot washing water will be available or you may opt to take a refreshing dip in a nearby stream. The campsite is often a scenic spot, so that you have time to explore around camp. The rest of the afternoon can be spent relaxing, reading, playing games, chatting with your Berber companions or visiting a local village.
In the evening a full course meal will be served in the mess tent soon after dark by 7.30pm. The standard of food is strictly Moroccan offering a variety of refined and delicious local dishes including traditional Harira, couscous, a variety of meat, chicken and vegetable tajines, fresh bread baked every day and supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables are available. The meal finishes with lemon verbena and Moroccan pastries which are stuffed with almond paste. The evening meal is usually the social event of the day, time for swapping stories and discuss about experiences of the day.
After supper your guide will brief you on the following day’s activities and answer any questions. You are then free to continue in conversation, go outside and gaze at the brilliant stars, or retire to your tent for a good night’s sleep. Your guide will give an insight into Morocco’s fascinating geography, geology, mountain terrain, history, and cultural aspects of life. There is also time to sit around the campfire to swap stories, sing and dance with the Berbers. This way, the trekkers are mentally prepared for the unique experience of our authentic camp-to-camp trek.