Acclimating to Imlil

Garmin watch says we are at 6200 ft. Doug wasn’t feeling well last night and the first thing in mind was that we didn’t drinking enough fluids. The air is really dry and there is not much humidity in Imlil. We are acclimating here not only for altitude but the new kind of food, drinking tons of green tea with mint, change in eating times, bathroom habits and environment. The water in Imlil is load shared so, some hours during the day we won’t have water. I don’t believe we have hot water here for showers. Usually, when we stay in the mountains I make sure I don’t flush the toilet paper in the toilet. The plumbing system up in the mountain is not very good so don’t want to contribute to messing up the toilet because the consequence is not good for everyone. We’ve had some experience in that avenue.

Doug rested a bit last night and I went down for dinner. I met a lovely couple from Australia and chatted a bit. Doug was able to come down to have dinner after the medication kicked in. We always carry this little blue bag with essential meds for situations like this. I’ve been noticing the common cold going around in Imlil possibly because of the change in weather. Doug had a slight headache and possibly the beginning of a head cold so immediately, he must drink the meds. I got these cold meds from France and it worked really well. Headache gone and he is back to his normal self the next day. We both had a good night sleep because it’s so quiet in Imlil. It’s very comfortable in our bedroom with lots of thick blankets just like in the mountains of India and Nepal. We’ve been sleeping really well since we got here.  Also, for a change we didn’t have to fold out a sofa bed!

It takes a few days of rest and easy hiking to get use to the altitude which is really a challenge because you feel like you have to go out. The good thing about having flexibility in time when traveling is that, we don’t have to hurry. Doug is slowly getting use to that and I am okay with rest days. This is specially important at altitude. The body’s immune system is compromised when pushed really hard at altitude. Once the immune system is compromised, it’s very easy to get sick from bugs. Also, at higher altitude the digestive system works very differently so it’s common to have diarrhea and stomach problems. Hygiene is critical because that is where bugs are caught easily. Common colds are transferred from hands touching things so washing hands is very important. It’s hard to really be conscious of it all the time but it’s good to try to. It saves a lot of headache in the end. The recovery time sucks.

We are not going to worry too much about climbing Toubkal because it’s more important for us to enjoy our time here and not rush into something because it’s there. If the weather is good and we feel like it, then we go maybe to the refuge and back, just not push hard. It is quite different here in Imlil in terms of the thin air, very low humidity and dryness – very different from the French Alps. Every mountain characteristics are so different, we realized so we have to adapt to the differences.

Today, it’s rainy and very cloudy. The clouds are low and it’s been cold. We did expect the weather to be this way so we are likely to move to another location after our week stay here in Imlil. Mountain time season is sort of ending for us in a way so we will follow how we feel moving around Morocco. There are many places to explore from north to south, east to west and it seems like Marrakech is the center of it all for transfers.

Breakfast was bread, coffee, mint tea, all sorts of jam, warm flat bread and a fried egg. Don’t forget the olives and we are still not sure why olives are part of every meal in Morocco. There are two or three kinds of olives. There is the black olives which is not spicy, the green one which is spicy and then the tan one, a bit tarty. Bread is also served in every meal, loads of it!

Last night, dinner was another meal cooked in a tangine. It had thin french fries, prunes, onions and underneath was chicken. Tangines are always served so hot and sometimes sizzling. The chicken was very tender. The salad that came before the main tangine meal was very much like salsa but with a slight hint of sweetness, must be some diced apples. I loved it. I had to pass on the olives. Dessert was yogurt. We passed on the mint tea because we’ve been having mint tea all day from breakfast to afternoon tea time and by the time we have dinner, we just couldn’t handle more green mint tea.

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