In the third week of April. 2013, I spent parts of three days in a row hiking with Driss Lachguer:
1. 3 hours in the hills of the national park near the Kasbah Tamadot
2. With my wife, 3-4 hours hiking up to and back from the higher Berber villages
3. 6 hours climbing the two saddles east of Imli (1100 metres vertical; 17-18 km total distance).
Driss was a very good companion and a terrific guide for all of these excursions, I am an experienced hiker, while my wife is not, and yet Driss was ideal for each of us. With my wife, he was very careful to check and confirm that footing, pace, opportunities for photos and such made it a very satisfying experience (she noted specifically that Driss was far better at knowing just when to offer her a helping had than I am!). When he and I were hiking alone, he paced the hikes nice and briskly but allowed me lots of my own space for contemplation and enjoying the spectacular scenery as we went along.
Driss also offered a very enjoyable introduction to the Berber people and their hospitality. He made it very comfortable for us to enjoy tea and, on the longer hike, even a breakfast at the homes of some of the villagers. He clearly enjoyed the pleasure that we took in getting to know his culture a little better and in adding to our understanding of it.
I hope to spend a week, or more, back in the High Atlas some time in the next couple of years, taking on some of the more serious routes. I can think of no better compliment to Driss than to say that I look forward very much to his guiding me.
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