Trip Start May 03, 2009
18Trip End Jun 28, 2009
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Where I stayed
Imil is in a spectacular if rugged setting. From our room in a Moroccan-style B and B the view is panoramic . We are surrounded by mountains still sprinkled with snow. Various stone villages cling together across the lower slopes and immediately in front is a steep walnut grove which falls away to Imlil. The sound is of rushing water and the smell in the air is animal manure.
Morocco time is 9 1/2 hours different to Adelaide
Breakfast is pretty simple out in the sun on the concrete terrace. We watch a herd of goats come out from the house across the way and scramble up the slopes with their goadherder. A few sheep and a rooster wander down the path followed by people riding mules side saddle. The houses are stone boxes built into the face of the slopes. They look like they are all grown out of each other. The whole scene is a bit like we've wandered into a bible story - except for the call to prayer across the valley..
We spend the first morning wandering down to Imlil to explore. We chat to a local who teaches us how to say,"no thankyou" in arabic to Berber rug sellers, although the vendors are not as pushy as I thought they'd be. Maybe its different in the bigger cities. Imlil is quite small - really just one long street. The everyday shops are more interesting than the ones for tourists. The butcher has his meat hanging up out in the open and at cafes tagines sit on pots of coals waiting for diners. We buy a bagette for lunch for the equivalent of 19 cents and some fruit. There are cherry trees in the village but sadly they wont be ripe until the 6th month we're told.
After lunch we walk via a couple of small villages back though Imlil. This is a warm up for a walk with a guide (Abdul) for six hours up the mountain, then down again. It was a pretty satisfying effort for us, but lots of people here are doing serious trekking often for a week.