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Geography field trip to Morocco
A Geography field trip to Morocco took place in the Christmas holidays. Kate Bell (Poetry) reports:
DAY ONE (Thursday 12th December)
After a comfortable flight from Gatwick Airport we ‘rocked up’ in Morocco and began our adventure. As we arrived late there was limited time for sightseeing, however we were treated to the first of many Moroccan tagines in a traditional roof-top restaurant with a view over the twinkling city.
DAY TWO (Friday 13th December)
On rising in our labyrinthine hotel, we navigated our way to the breakfast buffet. Full of energy we set out in our woolly jumpers for our first day of exploration in the mountains in a Berber village.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a plethora of colourful carpets and tiny tables, upon which we enjoyed the bread and tagine we had just witnessed being made, as well as the breathtaking views and a very sweet cup of mint/green tea. After our lunch we bundled back into the coach and continued onto Ouarzazate where we stayed at the La Perle Du Sud hotel, munching on tagine once more.
Desert bound, we set off in the early morning to be introduced to our camels for the start of our camel safari. After a long hearty picnic lunch on the edge of the desert and a lot of chatter, we boarded our camels and prepared ourselves for the two-hour trek towards our desert camp. When we arrived at the camp, surprised that we could still walk, everything was already set up for us. We got ourselves settled into our canvas accommodation, which was simple but comfortable and surprisingly warm. After settling in, we went to the main tent for our evening meal; here we enjoyed another tagine accompanied by couscous and fruit salad. After hours of comical camp games, we left the dinner tent and gathered around the fire where we sang songs with our camelteers, teaching them traditional English campfire songs and, in return, learning songs from them also. This was a lot of fun, especially when teaching them the ‘Hokey Cokey’. Following this we gazed at the starry sky and then climbed sluggishly into our sleeping bags and hoped to survive the freezing night temperatures.
DAY FOUR (Sunday 15th December)
Awaking in the desert having survived the night, we ate breakfast in the dinner tent. Much to our surprise we were served nutella and pancakes which were enthusiastically wolfed down. After breakfast we gathered our belongings and were reunited with our camels for the final trek. After emotional farewells with our new found companions we climbed onto the coach and returned to Marrakech, stopping at Ait Benhaddou, the best-preserved fortified Kasbah in the country. With walls of red earth, slit windows and crumbling towers it provides an example of a traditional stronghold, as well as being chosen as a location for Hollywood films such as Lawrence of Arabia. Here we enjoyed our final tagine of the trip. After eating and exploring, we re-embarked the coach and undertook the final leg of our journey back to Marrakech.
Upon arriving in Marrakech we stopped at the hotel in order to freshen up after our desert experience.
DAY FIVE (Monday 16th December)
On our final day in Morocco, we set off into the centre of Marrakech. Here we were given a guided tour around the older parts of the city, visiting the Koutoubia Mosque and the famous souks. In the new town we were allowed to explore for a couple of hours and get some lunch.