Morning trip to the lake and back

Just an hour and half by 50cc scooter with two people, or 45 minutes by car you can visit a manmade lake of tranquility and beauty steeped on one side by sloping banks intertwined with a small forest and on the other a plateau of barren but charming land. This is lake Lalla Takerkoust, which is a large reservoir supplying the local towns with pure but a little cold, mountainous water. Surrounded by the beautifully snow capped High Atlas Mountains, this is a place you can visit easily from your base in the Marrakshi Medina.

A little muddy in parts near to the water, but only in parts, this lake makes a perfect retreat for a morning stroll or sunny afternoon picnic where your company will be the occasional group of local children playing, or goat herders feeding their flocks on the grassy sides.

A little off the beaten track, but only adding to its secrecy and serenity, this is a surreal area, just beyond the village of Lalla Takerkoust, which is worth a visit for those wanting to escape the vibrant bustle of La Medina.

Leisurely exploring the area surrounding the lake, we came across a small village named Makhefamane which homes a dusty local highstreet with a few general grocery shops, crumbling mud and clay built houses, and some very happy, friendly and accommodating people.

Being invited into peoples homes seems like a national symbol of Marrakech and Makhefamane is no exception. Adballa approaches us mid cigarette as we look over the small football pitch that sits at the end of the village, and in some broken French and finger pointing we visit his home and wonderful family. They treat us to a Moroccan continental lunch of bread, olive oil, jam, butter and sugary tea while his wife feeds her 2 week old baby and his 6 year old daughter jumps around excited to practice the English that she has just learned in school that morning.

At the end of the village is Jnane Tihihit, an eco centre which houses a small diverse farm of seasonal agriculture and amazing array of animals, including some out of place pigs. We take a tour of the Belgian run site and come out feeling placid and inspired.

An example of why Morocco is such a diverse and culturally interesting place, and Marrakech, situated between the pictorially award winning and breathtaking Atlas Mountains, this country makes you see life in beautiful ways, and brings reality to a sense of what it actually is.

With breakfast looking out over Marrakchi rooftops and Atlas contours as your backdrop, Riad Cinnamon offers this plus a team passionately dedicated staff committed to making your stay in Marrakech one to remain with you forever.