The next morning those of us who didn’t go to to summit Mount Toubkal left Marrakesh to drive to the Atlas Mountains where we would meet up with those who did climb. After some time we arrive in the village of Imlil where the van can’t go any higher and we get out to walk the rest of the way to Armed Village (pronounced and sometimes spelled “Aramed”, not “armed” as in being in clover with much weaponry). And walk we did.
Back in my pre-trip days, when I was doing 4-6 mile hikes with my 30 lb bag to get in shape, this trek would probably not have caused me to break much sweat. As it was, I was afraid we’d need a defibulator by the time we were done with the 1 hour trek. I cannot believe how unbelievably bad shape I am now in. It’s a good thing I am unemployed as when I get back to LA I’m going to need to devote some serious time toward being able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded.
Anyway, we got to the village around lunch time. The village is the higest one before the base camp for Mount Toubkal. We ate lunch in the home of our guide and it was really good food, though the room was a bit rank with all of our sweatiness packed in. After eating I promptly fell sound asleep (easy to do given as we were eating sitting on cushions on the floor). I woke up in the middle of a heated conversation about American politics and decided feigning sleep a bit longer would be just the thing. When I did open my eyes, it appeared half the room had cleared out, anyway. Nothing like a discussion about Hillary Clinton to clear a room.
We left our guide’s house and walked up up up up up another 10 or so minutes to get to our “mountain hut” where we would be sleeping, as it was advertised to me. “Moutain hut” made it sound pretty horrid, and we were told not to expect much in the way of hot water and amenities. Actually, it was quite nice, even if it did have the concrete-slab-with-sheet for a bed. I decided my nap had not quite been enough for me (sleep at night is rather sporadic depending on who you get for a roommate, if they are sick, if they snore, if they are a psychopath, or a variety of other factors). Interestingly, I had a “deja vu” moment when hiking up to the house, as if I’d been there before. So that was weird…
At the house I then took another 2 hour nap and by then the people who trekked returned. Of those who tried, only 4 (plus the twins) did the summit because three others got sick. We gave them a hearty congrats as (I think) it was all of their first summits, and an especial shout out to M who shames me with the fact that she did her first summit with a few years on me and I can’t take a nice steep 1-hour walk up a mountain path without collapsing.
Unfortunately, there was a bit of a snafu in that the trekkers had been told to just pack for the one night at the base camp and their bags would meet them at the house we were staying, but that didn’t end up happening. So we all scrounged around for extra clothing they could borrow after they showered. Most of us had only packed for one night, so didn’t have a lot to spare, but it seemed to work out ok in that no one was nekked, though W chose to re-wear his own clothes so felt he was a bit stinky, but none of us seemed to notice! Probably our noses had stopped working y then.
I was sharing a room with J and D that night, as the three of us are non-snorers, but the exhaustion of the trek and the clogged sinuses from the altitude caused D to turn into a regular freight train that night. I wasn’t actually sure which one of them was snoring, but apparently J kept yelling at D to wake up throughout the night, which didn’t work too well! Poor J, it was her third night running without sleep…
Tags: Africa, Atlas Mountains, Morocco, Travel