After a marvellous ten days trekking in Morocco and climbing Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa, in perfect winter conditions, it was back to the reality of a British spring with snow causing chaos at Gatwick airport. My flight from Marrakech was delayed by five hours (it was 37 degrees C in Marrakech and minus two in Gatwick) and I missed my connection to Scotland. After standing in an almost stationary queue for BA Customer Services I eventually gave in, caught the Gatwick Express to central London and came home on the sleeper. Thank God for trains!
I must admit that in the past couple of years I’ve found flying to be a most stressful and unpleasant mode of transport and I’ve cut down the number of flights I use. I’d love to claim that I’ll stop flying completely because of environmental reasons but the truth is that I now simply loathe the experience of waiting in long queues, one after the other - check-in, security, immigration, passport control etc. The actual flight is usually fine, it’s just all the other crap that goes with it these days.
However, I had a grand group of trekkers on Toubkal, made a lot of new friends in Morocco, and despite the grimness of the travel it was good to realise again that the mountains never let you down. Hope you enjoy the photograph of me being patriotic on the summit of Toubkal, and for those of you who don’t know the mountain, the image below gives an idea of the rugged granduer of Morocco’s High Atlas.
Hope to get a podcast about our ascent of Toubkal up on the site later this week.