Nothing other than pride prompted Ugu and I to decline the offer for an easier alternative to the mountain village of Aroumd. It would’ve been awfully embarrassing to be the only ones in the group to be mounted on mules that were meant to carry our packs.
The uphill trek was gradual and the trail rocky but wide. Anyone may consider it a walk in the Park. The issue was, that we were unfit and we knew we were going to be short of breath soon. But trek we did and what made it bearable were feeble guises to stop for photos and the fantastic view from the trail.
In an hour or so, we finally arrived at our rustic accommodation, Gite Omar Id Mansour. Water from the tap was ice cold, most of us didn’t have the courage to take a full bath. Me included.
Some hiked to a place called Sidi Chamarouch, while I stayed to spend a more leisurely afternoon exploring the tiny village.
Aroumd is a quiet Berber village, a serious Trekker’s jump-off to Mount Toukbal, and a place of simplicity in the midst of a striking and stunning landscape.
What I cherished the most about our stay was the warmth of the locals, the home cooked meals and what seemed like an overflowing service of sweet mint tea and cookies while everyone wrapped in thick wool blankets enjoyed a game of cards on a chilly September night.
Gites in Morocco are Guesthouses or family run accommodations. Aroumd (1,945m) is an hour’s trek from Imlil (1,740m). They are villages in the high Atlas Mountains. Imlil is 60 kilometers south of Morocco and can be reached by Grand Taxi or by truck from Marrakech. The road ends in Asni and then you travel by foot to Imlil.
You can get useful information thru http://www.imlil.org