My trip to morocco came round a lot quicker than I anticipated as I was throwing and squeezing all the kit I needed into a rucksack that was either far too small for the trip or I had far too much stuff.
In between this I was preparing (microwaving leftovers) my last meal in the UK or at least until I reached the airport. My previous trip to morocco had been in the searing heat of the Sahara as part of the Marathon des Sables. This trip had the potential for the heat of the desert to the snow up in the mountains, on top of this we were leaving England as a storm was due to hit so I was packing for all eventualities! As I sat on the tube the rain started to come down hard, I was glad I was going to miss the remainder of what was to come. I made my way to Gatwick to meet the rest of the group who had arrived in a timelier manor than me. Despite it only being a 3 hour flight, not knowing when my next last meal would be I thought I would savour a chocolate bar on the flight which needless to say was eaten before boarding the plane. I was clearly in a mood of great self restraint. Arriving in Marrakech it came to passport control and spotting a small queue in front of a booth I opted for this one only to receive a wagging finger and being pointed towards the much large queue that had formed and I had being trying to avoid. Finally making it out, we met Steve our expedition leader and Ibrahim our local guide. This formidable pairing of Steve with a huge amount of experience and stories which made many a famous explorer or adventurer seem very tame and Ibrahim with his local knowledge and connections spreading across the Morocco we certainly had the ingredients for a fantastic trip.
Arriving in the main square and the souks in Marrakech in the evening can only be described as mind blowing with such a contrast to the London we had left behind as our sensors were hit with a rich mix of smells, sights and sounds. Locals and tourists mixed together in one big melting pot. Wondering around you were introduced to every kind of smell from incense to freshly cooked food and the odd whiff of drainage system or lack of.
After many offers from different food stalls we were greeted by a cook in his once pristine white uniform, now highly decorated in a variety of colours and food stains, which we opted to stay at. A young couple were mid way through what could have been a romantic meal in Marrakech. This was broken when the waiter realising the lack of space for our group decided without telling them that he would move them along. In his haste he knocked the ladies drink over her and the table. But at least we would all fit now. The meal was really good despite warnings of not eating meat and I assumed that the calamari was probably even riskier given our distance from the sea, all were very tasty. My meal was made slightly more interesting when I felt a rubbing on my arm. Looking round I realised it was the cooks arse going up and down my arm as he bent over to pick up something. All part of the experience. A quick tour of the souk before me and roommate crashed out in the hotel a head of the next day’s trip into the mountains.