Monday, January 18, 2010

Atlas Standing

We left Marrakech behind and headed for the High Atlas.  At the end of our planning for this trip we had added a night at the Kasbah du Toubkal, a converted fortress at the base of Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa.  Run by Berbers, the people indigenous to this area, the Kasbah contributes jobs and cash to the village of Imlil, the point from which most treks in the area begin.

Most of you will have trouble putting me and trekking in the same sentence.  Don't worry, I didn't do it.  What I did do was to follow these donkeys up a rock-strewn hillside to get to the Kasbah.

They were carrying our bags.  Why they didn't also carry me was a question I didn't ask until I got to the top.

The Kasbah, once you get there, is comfortable in an appropriately primitive way.


Stone and wood and Berber carpets are everywhere.  Dinner is served by candlelight in an alcove lighted only by candles.  Once the candles in the lanterns along the paths burn down, there are few lights to guide you back to your room. 

But there is wi-fi and there are mountains and snow and villages from which the call of the muezzin is heard five times a day.  There are sheep herds and women tending cattle and kids walking many kilometers to get to school.

And there are the mountains all around and villages hanging from their sides.  And for non-trekkers there is no shortage of places to sit with a book and feel happy.



1 comment:

Julie R said...

Luckily, Atlas didn't "shrug" on the night you were there. This is awesome. I'm interested to hear what you thought about the experience.