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24 March, 2013

Why am I in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco

Holiday Nomad during Atlas Trekking
Atlas Trekking
When I looked forward to 2013 earlier this year, I wasn't planning to return to Morocco this year. So what changed? In May I will hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, this has been the number 1 on my bucket list for ages ... arriving at the Sun Gate the last day of the Inca Trail, watch the sun rise and slowly see the miracle of Machu Picchu appear below me ... No need to tell you how excited I was once I planned and arranged my trip. However the closer I get to this trip, the more nervous I'm getting ... will I physically be able to complete the Inca Trail? Sure I planned to prepare for the Inca Trail by going hiking a lot more, working on my condition, maybe even start running a bit ... however work and daily life got in the way of my training plans.


Atlas Mountains
Atlas Mountains
I know some of you might wonder "What are you worried about; you seem to hike quite a lot?" It's true I love hiking and do it as much as possible during my holidays. I went hiking in Austria, on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, in Kauai Hawaii, in the Rocky Mountains ... yes all true ...  but I have a confession to make about what kind of hiker I am. I love hiking BUT I also love returning afterwards to a very nice hotel where I can enjoy a hot bath, a delicious dinner and a comfortable bed. In case I had a very exhausting hiking day, I love to get pampered in the SPA the next day or go hiking again but take the ski lift up and descend slowly. Terrible isn't it ;-)


High Atlas Mountains
High Atlas
It is obvious that there are no hotels, SPAs nor ski lifts on the Inca Trail, so that's why I started worrying. It will not be exhausting the one day and very relaxing the other day, it will be exhausting the entire time! Taking into account that I have no issues with hiking itself but have a bit more difficulties with hiking in mountains, I decided that I urgently needed to start training for the Inca Trail. Hiking in Belgium was not really an option as there aren't many mountains here and for sure not high ones, Austria is not an option either this time of the year as there is still to much snow ... the Atlas Mountains in Morocco seemed to be the perfect fit.



View from Imlil Lodge Morocco
View from Imlil Lodge
So that's why I'm currently in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. I will start hiking around the Imnane Valley after which I will attempt the 2-day trekking to the summit of Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa (4167 meters high) and finally hike a day around the Berber Villages in Imlil. It looks like a beautiful trekking and I hope that it will be a good training for the Inca Trail. It has been months since I last hiked in mountains, so at this stage I'm not sure whether I will make the summit of Mount Toubkal ... I will keep you posted :-)

Did you ever hike the Inca Trail or climbed Mount Toubkal?


     
Freya - Holiday Nomad, a Travel and Photo Blog


13 comments:

  1. No need to worry Freya. No matter how tough it is or isn't you will love every moment of it. And if it didn't have a few tough spots to push you, truthfully that wouldn't make it as memorable.
    Looking forward to hearing all about it!!!!:)

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    1. I'm not sure whether I loved every moment but for sure it was a great and unique experience and I would do it again any time.

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  2. Freya, Book a hotel before you go so you'll have one in the nearest town when done. Then, when it gets rough just think about that hotel waiting for you :-)

    I'm with you though... still looking for the Hilton at the edge of the wilderness. I'll let you know if I ever find it.

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    1. haha thanks, yes a nice hotel to go to once done is definitely a must :-) We found a nice lodge for after the Atlas Trekking. Yeah wouldn't it be great to reach base camp or the edge of the wilderness and find a Hilton there instead of refuges with bunk beds. Maybe I'll suggest to their marketing team ;-)

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  3. You have hiked at some amazing places already. I love the thought of you training in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco for a hike on the Inca Trail in Peru. They both sound exotic. Unfortunately, with kids in tow our hikes have been limited to the US National Parks so far. am looking forward to reading more about your training and live vicariously through you on the Inca Trail :)

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    1. Hi Mary, The US National Parks are stunning ! We visited quite a few and loved it. Thank you :)

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  4. Oh wow - that sounds so amazing that you can go hiking in the Atlas mountains in preparation for the Inca Trail! The Atlas have been on my bucket list for ages!!! Did the Inca Trail years ago - it is rustic, and 4 days of camping...but so totally worth it. You will have a brilliant time. I love all the little ruins along the trail. Every day is so interesting. Take it easy over Dead Woman's Pass. I believe that is the highest point. Enjoy.

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    1. HI Anita, yes the Atlas Mountains are for sure a wonderful place, so beautiful.
      I'm very much looking forward to the Inca Trail a bit worried about the camping part and Dead Woman's Pass but I'm sure I will make it and that it is definitely worth it :)

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  5. Great post Freya, I can;t wait to visit these mountains in Aug :)

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  6. Great post Freya, I can;t wait to visit these mountains in Aug :)

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    1. Hi Stephen, you will have a great time ! The Atlas Mountains are beautiful.

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  7. Gorgeous photos Freya! Looks like you prepared quite an adventure for yourself... to get ready for an even bigger adventure! Fabulous! :o)

    I've never done hiking several days in a row, long trails like that... Would love to try it some time! And yeah, having a nice hot tub to soak in at the end of a day on the mountain does sound divine! :p

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    1. I hike a lot but nearly never several days in a row either, I really liked it but yeah it would have been a lot easier and more comfortable if only that hot tub had been there ;-)

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