For the Christmas week we stayed in stayed in a small hotel in a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and explored the nearby mountains. The view from Dar Tassa is truly spectacular and we felt very welcome in the colorful cushioned living area, catching up on books and knitting. Our host, Mohamed, played mother hen, ensuring that there was enough heat in the lounge, coffee or mint tea, hot water for showers, taxis for walk shuttles, and even hot water bottles in our beds at night! He presented us with a fantastic chocolate cake on Christmas eve to make it a memorable event.
People mostly smiled at us as we guessed our way through unmarked mud streets in Berber villages, but the toughest part was cross-country route-finding! Our Spanish topo map had trails marked that we never found and we often had to just bushwhack on compass trend... which was fine until we came upon deep ravines and once a rocky cliff! We were continually traversing unstable slopes, and all ended up with spiky spines in our hands... Ali and I spent a fun day shopping in Marrakesh while the guys met up with a tour guide and had lunch in a Berber household.