Morocco was always going to be a bit of a wild-card, even with the original sugar-coated plans. Yet as the departure date drew nearer and everything fell apart, we began to really doubt if we had made a sound decision – even the thought of remaining in England began to seem interesting.
Eventually, the statement of “even if the climbing sucks, ten days in Morocco cant really be that bad” was made, and on a cold new years eve morning, we boarded a plane bound for Agadir, joined by a load of pasty white fatties in search of some winter sun.
Being met in person by our hire car rep, watching him fill in all the paperwork by hand and pay him there and then in cash, reminded me that, despite the cheap flights to get here, we were not in Kansas anymore.
The car, as to be expected, was a tiny pice of shit, which contrary to popular belief, is actually worse than a big piece of shit, as with a big piece of shit, you can at least fit in your bulky luggage and several bouldering pads. Fortunately, there was just the two of us, so with a bit if rearranging, everything slotted in fairly well and we set off into the unknown.
Unknown may seem a little dramatic, especially when compared to some of my recent expeditions, but actually it described our trip to Tafrauote pretty well. We had no idea of the town, we had no idea of the rock, we had no idea where to sleep, and we had no idea if there would be other climbers. We brought gear for trad, sport and bouldering, because we didn’t know what to expect, and as it turned out, we used everything, every day.
As we moved away from Agadir the landscape quickly became rugged, wild and barren. Cliffs became larger and more regular, eventually turning into jagged brown mountains as we neared our destination. And then, just like snapping your fingers, as we turned the final corner into Tafraoute, huge round boulders appeared! Whole mountains covered in them; giant orange eggs, interspersed with the occasional embedded house, and lush majestic palm trees – the most beautiful place I have ever seen.