TEACHERS - What were you doing this Half Term?
Did you have a great Half term? Did you do anything Adventurous?
8 Teachers we know did – They Climbed Mount Toubkal (4167 metres) in Morocco, what made it even better for them was Rock and Rapid Adventures paid for it!
At the start of 2015 we were sat in the office thinking why do so many teachers enquire about our product, but then never organise a school overseas expedition with us? Many of the enquiries came from teachers who were potential first time School Link Teachers. This got us thinking!
“You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, so why would you buy an expedition for your students without testing the company first?”
The idea was born – Let us take teachers away and allow them to test drive one of our expeditions for free.
Would You Like a Free Trip to Morocco? Click Here
Move forward to 4am on Saturday 24th October and 9 Teachers are meeting at Stanstead Airport to board a flight bound for Marrakech, Morocco.
This was only supposed to be a 3½ flight but we did start off the trip with a few delays, thanks Ryanair!
Eventually we arrived in Marrakech, collected our bags and quickly loaded up into the minibus to head into the Medina. Our Riad was very central, you could instantly hear the hustle and bustle and it allowed for easy exploration of the walled city. After a roof top lunch in the sunshine we headed out with a local guide to explore Marrakech, the Medina and the Souks.
That evening it was time to introduce the teachers to Jemaa el-Fna. This is the Market place of Marrakesh’s medina quarter and is used by locals and tourists alike. Here you can eat your evening meal, drink freshly squeezed orange juice for 26p, get a heena tattoo or be snake charmed! We decided to opt to eat at one of the many street food stalls. The atmosphere alone makes eating at the Djemaa el-Fna’s food stalls a must. The adventurous can try steamed snails, tongues and sheeps’ intestines. Fortunately, there are many other stands offering freshly cooked fish, kebabs and veggies for those with less adventurous stomachs.
If you ever fancy a career change and you wish to get into sales, go and watch the touts entice you to eat at their stalls!
We opted for food Stall Number “117 –takes you heaven” they also told us “118 – the Food is not great!”
After food and quick explore around the square it was time to head to bed after long day of travelling! We had an early start in the morning to head out on our trek!
After a breakfast of pancakes and pain au chocolat it was time to board our transport and take the 1¼ journey into the High Atlas Mountains. Today we were walking from Iml Oughlad to Tizi Oussem. After meeting our guides and Muleteers and some Moroccan Tea it was time to start our climb to an altitude of 2100m. It was a great day of walking, talking and amazing scenery. The evening was spent and hosted in a Berber House, with some Teachers “Banter” and amazing food cooked up by our camp cooks. The teachers even managed to find an English film on Arabic television.
Todays Trek was to Imlil, but before we reached this mountain village we had to get reach the Tizi Mzik Pass at 2489m. After a steady climb up to the pass, it then opened up to the most amazing views and the ‘Selfie Sticks’ were out! Today was a short day and gave us time for a walk around Imlil when we arrived. Imlil is knows as the base for trekkers and mountaineers in the High Atlas and 90% of people heading to the High Atlas will come through Imlil.
For the group the best bit of today was the chance to update their Facebook and Instagram as we had Wi-Fi again!
Today was 7 hours of walking, after an early start from Imlil (1740m) we were heading for the Toubkal Refuge (3206m). We had the most perfect weather on this trip, and today was no exception. The views and the scenery were stunning; the group enjoyed a nice but tough walk up to the refuge and an early night, before the early morning wake up call for a summit attempt!
So the Alarms were ringing and it was 4.30am, yes 4.30am! Many people were already up due to the excitement or apprehension of their first summit attempt on a proper mountain!
After a breakfast of Porridge & Coffee, head torches were on and we were in single file heading up towards the snowline. After 2 hours it was light enough to turn our head torches off, and within another hour of walking we had reached the snowline. Now it was time for something 95% of the group had never done – put on a pair of crampons! From the snowline we had 2 ½ hours of making our way through the snow & Ice to reach the summit. At 10am the whole group were stood at 4167m enjoying the view and the perfect conditions for a summit day. Although they all admitted it was a challenge, every single teacher felt they accomplished something and were ecstatic they took on the challenge.
Once group photos and ‘Selfies’ had been taken it was time to turn around and make our decent to the refuge, then onwards to Imlil. With aching knees and tired legs, we finally arrived at Imlil at 6pm. After collecting our bags from the mules, saying farewell to our Moroccan guides and loading our bags, it was now time to head back to Marrakech.
The journey back was a surprisingly noisy one, with everyone remembering the stories & tales of the last 4 days - 5 days ago these teachers had never met, now some real friendships had formed. This is one of the benefits of an overseas expedition that you will see from your students.
We arrived back at our Riad around 7.30pm and with a quick shower and change from trekking clothes it was time to head out for our farewell/celebratory meal. There was also time for some bartering and present shopping in the souks.
Home time had arrived and we were on the early flight back into Stanstead. Two of the teachers had decided to stay on and explore for a few days. After saying our good byes with them we were off to the airport. Within 3 ½ hours we had exchanged North African culture and 30 degree heat for Stanstead, reality and a temperature drop of 20 degrees! Welcome Back….
What did the teachers have to say about this trip?
1. "For anyone considering booking with rock and rapid you really need to get in touch with Keith. Most schools offer trips to students with agencies that are impersonal and only interested in making money from schools. Also students are taught of culture but never really experience anything outside of European culture from trips - the expeditions and the fund raising that Rock and Rapid offer are something that all schools should look into".
2. "A fantastic opportunity for teachers to experience this kind of trip before they dive in. Every aspect of the trip was covered. The R and R team and Moroccan guides were more than happy to help and offer advice in any matter. It was a tough challenge, but well worth the hard work and an unforgettable experience."
3. "The trip to Morocco was a fab way to see exactly what students would experience. All those questions that swim around in your head are answered as you experience the expedition first hand. I have walked away from this trip with a real sense of what our students can experience on an expedition".
4. "I believe this company has a potential to become the best in its kind in the near future."
Are you thinking of organising an expedition within your school? Would you benefit from experiencing an expedition first hand? Would you like us to pay for it? Click Here
You can also download our Morocco Information Pack by visiting our Morocco Website Page