. Once back at the campsite those rostered to cook got busy preparing fresh vegetables and rice for our tea. We ate extremely well on the trip with most meals being predominately fresh vegetables and fruit, which was all carefully washed in condy´s crystals before use.
The next morning Avan was up with the roosters (and the Muslim call to prayer) watching the sunrise over the mountains and light up the valley. The call to prayer is relayed by loud speakers at various points throughout the valley and mountain villages. After breakfast another local guide arrived to take us on a 4 hour hike in the mountains where we saw Marijuana fields, little villages and stunning scenery. We took mint tea very high in a mountain village with the locals. The mint tea drunk in copious quantities in Morocco (given that alcohol is banned) is made with a branch of mint in the glass and lots of sugar. We learnt to ask for it without sugar!
Out first day of travel was really only a half day. We left the city of Tangier behind and journeyed up into the Rif Mountains arriving at our Chefchaouen campsite at lunchtime.The view from the campsite was spectacular as it was perched on the side of the mountain overlooking the city. Then it was time to set up our tents and stretchers for the first time. Reality set in a bit when we realized there were no pillows and our beds were canvas stretchers but generally we slept very comfortably on the trip. In the afternoon a local from Chefchaouen arrived at the campsite to take us on a tour of the city below. We were taken to have mint tea and biscuits at a weavers shop and shown the most amazing handwoven blankets and rugs. The Medina of the city (as most Moroccan cities) is a maze of twisting little alleys which are very easy to get lost in. As darkness set in we made the steep climb back up to the campsite which was a little eerie as the twisting path took us through a cemetery with the graves clinging precariously to the side of the mountain