Charlie and I were sitting over a dish of tripe and beans – well he had the tripe, I just had the beans – a few months ago talking about adventures.
“I need a new one,” I said. “I want to do a big chunk of the Atlas Mountains, and do something no-one has done before.”
Charlie runs Epic Morocco, an adventure travel company, and was the man who made me sign up for the Marathon Des Sables. He knows pretty well everything there is to know about Morocco, and he is prone to flashes of brilliance.
“How about from the highest point of North Africa to the lowest?” he said. “And Epic Morocco will sponsor you.”
So, the Atlas to Atlantic Expedition was born, and tomorrow morning I will be setting off.
The idea is to start the trek from the top of the highest mountain in the Atlas range and in North Africa, Mount Toubkal at 4167 metres, and to end up approximately 300km later in the waves of the Atlantic at Taghazout. I’ll be heading in a more or less straight line across the mountains, down through the desert, across a motorway and to the sea.
I am doing it with Rachid, a young Berber mountaineer. We are going to be self-sufficient, carrying all our own kit and supplies, and will be living off what we can find on the way in the villages we pass. Water will come from the streams in the mountains, and then we will have to stock up heavily as we get down to the hot plains.
I’ve packed as light as I can, but my rucksack still weighs a good 12kg and I don’t have food for the next couple of days and water in it yet.
This expedition will not only be a journey through the mountains and the plains, it will also be a journey through time. We start in the Berber rural areas where life continues as it has for centuries and end on the coast where it is five star resorts and girls in bikinis.
I don’t know exactly how long it will take, or exactly what route we will take, as it is the first time anyone has done this. I’ll be posting when I can and getting messages through to Charlie. So, if you would like to follow me, there will be updates on www.facebook.com/EpicMorocco
Wish me luck!
The Atlas to Atlantic Expedition is sponsored by adventure travel company, Epic Morocco