Chris's Adventure in the High Atlas Mountains
From the staggering sand dunes of The Sahara to the snow-capped mountains of the high Atlas Mountains in one day.
‘Mushkeel’ shouted the children as we picked our way through the streets of the rather desolate village of Agoudal. I waved back at the chorus of rosy cheeks. Cheeks common to children around the world no matter what mountains they live in.
My Indian friend and travelling companion, Jamshyd, stirred from his afternoon nap;
‘What was that?’
In the half hour between our picnic stop and driving into Agoudal, the sky had gone from a sunny, bright blue to a slate grey and large snowflakes were beginning to settle on the windscreen.
Extraordinary that this morning we had set off in bright sunlight from the sand dunes of the Sahara and here we were surrounded by snow and the different but no less dramatic scenery of the Atlas mountains. Our trekking was going to be interesting.
‘Oh just some children. But the snow is really starting to come down again. Philippe is getting slightly worried about the pass’.
‘Mushkeel’ shouted another of the children and this time four solemn looking men in their late 60’s joined in.
‘Mushkeel means trouble in Urdu.’ Said Jamshyd.
‘It means pretty much the same here’. Said Philippe, our guide and driver.
Two hours later, defeated by snow drifts of up to six feet in the pass and in worsening light and fairly slippery conditions we chugged back into Agoudal.
The same chorus waved and shouted and smiled. I don’t know if ‘Told you so’ is similar in Urdu, Berber or Arabic but facial expressions just like rosy cheeks in the mountains are the same the world over.
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