Day trip with Latifa
Neil Nussey is the author of this review. Neil and his wife Jackie had a day trip with Latifa in April 2017.
« My wife and I visited Marrakech for a week in April. We were keen to do a day trip to the Atlas Mountains and explore the area with a guide. We don’t like big organised tours and we were both after an experience that was a little different whilst being low key and authentic.
Internet research lead us to Latifa and after some communication by email we committed to a day trip with Latifa. We were so glad we did because our day’s walking with her was the highlight of our trip to Marrakech.
Latifa organised a taxi pick up from our hotel which arrived promptly and drove us out to Amizmiz where we meet Latifa. Unfortunately by this time it was raining and a thick mist was surrounding the hills. We were concerned but Latiafa was undeterred and explained that, having made a few phone calls, she had adjusted her plan for the walk accordingly. We drove further on in the taxi and eventually we had left the rain behind.
We are both fairly experienced walkers but it’s fair to say in recent years we have not walked a great deal so we were a little concerned about the terrain we would be covering. Latifa soon put our concerns to rest, leading the walk at an appropriate pace and quietly gauging our walking capabilities before deviating from the main tracks.
Our walk gained height as we traversed one side of the valley and Latifa pointed out points of interest and provided us with information on the plants of the area.
Latifa is a very experienced walking and trekking guide and our walk was probably for her a gentle stroll but she was attentive and enthusiastic throughout. For us the joy of walking with her was observing her interact with the local Berber people; she is clearly a well-known and respected woman in the area. It was a delight to see children and adults greet her in every village we passed through and for us to also participate in the interaction that resulted.
Before booking this trip we were both a little reticent at the prospect of entering Berber homes, not because we did not want to meet the local people and learn about the culture, but purely because we wanted to do it in a spontaneous natural way and not for it to feel like we were following some pre-arranged timetable. For us Latifa delivered on this superbly and it was a delight to be invited into a Berber home for hot sweet tea and freshly baked bread. The kindness and hospitality was humbling and an experience we will not forget.
Our walk continued and we stopped for a picnic lunch that Latifa had prepared for us at our request. This provided us with a much needed rest and a chance to enjoy some freshly prepared food. After lunch Latifa asked us if we would like to extend our walk and we were keen to take the opportunity to do this. For me this really made the walk.
We carried on walking on increasingly varied terrain for another 2 hours. The landscape becoming more varied as we descended. At one point we passed a local school and were able to make an unscheduled stop to say hello to the teacher and children. This was another chance for us to witness the respect that the local people have for Latifa. She is clearly an inspiration for them all.
We arrived back at the point where Latifa had arranged for us to be picked up by the taxi driver. Tired but very happy we were driven back to our hotel. All in all this was a really memorable day and I would not hesitate to recommend Amizmiz trekking and Latifa to anyone wanting a walking or trekking guide in Morocco. »
Merci beaucoup Neil pour votre article !