Typical. Within 2 weeks of getting set up with equishopping I went away to the Atlas mountains in Morocco - I mean it is just round the corner! Well, how could I refuse a place on a budget expedition especially during Dells mini mid-season holiday. Within the first few days I had several rather confused people call asking where I was - "I'm in Marrakech", "You're where??", "Yup, now put the phone down because it's costing you a pound a minute!"
Morocco is a long way from home in so many ways. Firstly, the drugs trade is out to get 17 year old western boys. Being offered drugs down strange alley ways which look distinctly like something out of a horror film before a murder isn't that great so when we set off for the Atlas mountains and left behind the hustle and bustle of Marrakech I was very relieved....
We trekked from north to south across the Atlas mountains stopping on the way to 'pop up' Jebel M'goun, one of the highest peaks in Africa and on another occasion to explore the many gorges that split open the mountains. We camped, slept on roof tops and occasionally just slept on the ground. However, invariably sleeping on the ground means you end up in a bush or with a scorpion crawling on you.... We also stayed with the Berber people in the mountains who have some ermm - varying health and safety ideas:
The Berber people must have spent quite a bit of time laughing at us though. One such incident involved me getting lost in their crop fields which are tiered by the side of the river. I ended up walking down a drainage gully with a group of school children laughing at me.... The second incident occurred when we decided to copy the Berbers who were diving into waterfalls in one of the gorges... They were diving head first in but that was where our injury free trip came to an end as I managed to twist my knee and a friend managed to hit both hands - which then swelled up for the dramatic look.
After a quick trip down to the northern sahara (50 degrees!!) we were heading back home. We stayed a final day in Marrakech where we had a turkish massage - actually that just means being beaten up (people genuinely were in pain..) While we were there we also visited the 'Jardin Majorelle' which is totally bizarre as it's so quiet compared with the hubbub of the main city.
It also made me realise how much I love Britain. Not just for the greenery, water and more civilised society but it's home. Walking through security with a british passport means something what it is I don't quite know but perhaps "the village green preservation society" by the Kinks goes some way to explaining it... or is that just me?
Within 4 hours of being back in Britain I was back in the saddle to get ready for Chilham Castle our next run this weekend. Chilham have built 2 new tracks for this year including a novice which everyone has high hopes for. What's more, it's started raining so with aerating as well the going should be perfect!
I've also got a product of the week for you - a leather conditioner that really is genuinely quite savage and leaves a silver like shine - Fly Away's Patent Leather Shine. Or you could just check out Equishopping's full range of tack cleaners...
I'm also told that Equishopping are sponsoring Blair Castle Horse Trials and there's a competition to win £100 worth of vouchers! Resut - I've got them in the eventing trap!