Alice Morrison Begins Part III of Her Expedition Across Morocco

Alice Morrison aims to walk the length of Morocco. Photo: Alice Morrison

On August 20, Alice Morrison started her 1,400km expedition across the Atlas Mountains from the Mediterranean to the Sahara. This is the third leg of her Moroccan Odyssey trilogy. In 2019, she walked the 1,200km length of the Draa River, and this February, she trekked 2,000km across the Sahara. If she nails this final part, she will become the first woman to walk the length of Morocco.

As before, six camels will carry her gear, and a threesome of local guides will deal with officials along the way.

Morrison and her favorite camel, Hamish, reunite for the Atlas expedition. Photo: Alice Morrison

Their current plan is to start in Nador on the Mediterranean coast, then continue through the Rif Mountains and across the Rekkam plateau to Toundout, finally ending in Ourazazate — the starting place for her Draa River Expedition. The precise route may change, given the uncertainties of travel during the pandemic, but she estimates that the journey will take 60 to 78 days.

One of the challenges will be the wildly varied terrain. Starting in the alpine landscape of the Rif Mountains, she will then have to tackle 100km of desert on the Rekkam Plateau, before passing through some of the highest villages in Morocco, situated around 2,600m. Finally, they will pass the lakes at Imichil and skirt the southern foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Each section has its unique challenges, from water scarcity in the desert to the thin air of the higher villages, which affects the camels.

Camping amid the conifers of the Rif Mountains. Photo: Alice Morrison

Morrison called the first day of the expedition “brutal”. At 40°C,  she struggled to take in enough water, since “it just pours out again in sweat”. The camels, meanwhile, had such a hard time in the mountains that one was left temporarily behind to rest a couple of kilometres from camp. “I forgot this stuff is tough!!” Morrison admits.

About the Author

Rebecca McPhee

Aspiring sports and travel journalist based in the UK.

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