Tuesday was the most relaxing of days at Mantis Collection’s Kasbah du Toubkal. After a good night’s sleep laced with the sweets sounds of nature from outside our open window, we enjoyed a traditional Berber breakfast of homemade yogurt, cereals, cooked eggs, breads, spreads, delicious coffee and fruits & nuts. We then sat in the open-aired seating, area with 360 degree views, overlooking the retreat and chatted with fellow guests, American’s Alex and Danielle. Shortly before midday we set out on a hike to the next village over with our new friends. We had the best intentions to go for a swim under one of the many waterfalls, but due to a slight sprinkle and getting a little ‘lost’ on our path, we never made it in the water.
The people we encountered during our self-guided tour of the neighboring village were friendly and helpful when we took a wrong turn. It was fascinating to see how the village residents live with access to so little from the ‘outside’. It wasn’t until 1997 that electricity reached this part of the world. Still today, their cows, mules, horses, and chickens are kept in ‘garage-like’ areas just under their stone-sided homes. The homes were stacked along the hillside with steep and narrow steps meandering through the village. Many would find a visit to these Berber villages in the High Atlas an experience in stepping back in time.