July 9, 2022
Well that’s a wrap!
Our second session was truly one for the books. The group was so incredibly tight knit and we couldn’t feel more blessed to have been able to lead this incredible bunch of students. Looking back over the trip, the moments we shared as a group are hard to miss. Whether that be with the relationship gained between Will and the trekking guides Chechu and Carlos, or with the epic feat of resilience on mount Toubkal with Lillian. The group was definitely an easy one to lead as everyone broke out of their shell within the first few days. Moments like the session of card games on the first day led by Anabel and Halle and the Epic first hike in the gorge with incredible and positive attitudes from Arden, Corbitt and Ellie. After such great success in the Picos, it was nice to be able to play in the water in the canyons of the Picos and in the waves of Llanes. After these great few days in the lowlands of Spain, it was time to gain some more elevation in the beautiful Morocco. Everyone had such high spirits on the mighty Toubkal and it was made clear that everyone was going to summit the mountain no matter what. After the ascent, the moments shared on the summit were moments that none of us will ever forget. We saw the true joy in the students eyes on the summit, especially Walker. Walker had been positive and energetic all day, however at the top he was quiet and was truly recognizing the bliss. The high spirits were carried all the way down the mountain as everyone was super excited to go see the Riad we were going to stay at for the next two nights in Marrakech that included a pool and big backyard. The Souk Markets were a grand time as everyone (especially Drew and Max) showed excitement in the game of bargaining and searching for fun items and clothing throughout these little shops. After the busy day in the markets it was nice to have a peaceful (or energetic) time in the epic realm we were able to stay in. It was nice to be able to run around in the grass, throw the frisbee and play in the cold pool on a hot day.
The trip was a huge success and everyone in the group became so close with one another. The collective positivity was something that every Moondance should have and Ella and I will surely miss it. We hope everyone has a safe rest of their summer and a successful school year.
Corley and Ella
July 7, 2022
Our time in Morocco could not have gone better. Our entire group summitted Mt. Toubkal, indulged in the chaotic fun of the Marrakech markets, and snuggled with mountain puppies and riad kittens along the way.
We kicked off our African adventure in Imlil, a small town at the base of the Atlas Mountains, home to Mt. Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa. Ellie and Arden christened our first riad’s rooftop porch with some afternoon yoga and Pilates before tea time in the sun. After a taste of Morocco, the kids, especially Will and Max, were really eager to explore the stores in Imlil to practice their bargaining before the big leagues in Marrakech. We were invited into a rug store for tea, given a little lesson on how the rugs are made, and a proper display of the place’s best rugs and robes. The store owner dressed Walker in a traditional robe and head scarf, but, in classic Walker fashion, he very politely told the store owner that he couldn’t justify buying the full get-up.
The next morning, we buckled in for our first day of trekking in Morocco. The day’s objective was to reach Toubkal basecamp. Our LODs Anabel and Will led an awesome morning huddle with a quote and a quick overview of Leave No Trace and Expedition Behavior. After treating some hot spots and blisters on some hard-workin’ feet, we were on our way.
The next morning…was summit day. Don’t know about you, but I think that’s an epic way to celebrate the 4th of July! Halle represented the group with her American flag pom-pom beanie all the way to the summit. The kids could not have been more positive and motivated throughout our hike to the top. Of course, there were some challenges, physical, mental and emotional, but no one ever lost sight of their goal of getting to the top with all of their friends. Corbitt kept her lungs well exercised by singing High School Musical, Queen, and some good ole country music all the way up the mountain. She was flyin’.
Finally, it was time for some well-earned relaxation time. After a bittersweet goodbye to Toubkal, we headed back to Marrakech for some time by the pool, frisbee, cooking class, a market visit, and you guessed it, more riddles. Lily finally cracked the Two Penguins Canoeing in a Desert riddle. You could say she a master. While Drew sill may not know the penguin riddle, he definitely knows how to play categories in the swimming pool, dunking his friends, yelling and laughing until they get the right answer.
We’re sad to say goodbye to our time in Morocco, but excited to explore the city of Madrid for our last night together. Street tacos and ice cream sound like a pretty good way to close out our trip of a lifetime.
Ella and Corley
Dear parents, thank you for sending me on such an amazing experience, I loved all of it and truly appreciate you allowing me to go. I’ll see you tomorrow in Atlanta. Love you both – Max
Hey fam! Excited to see y’all soon! Thank you so much for this trip and dad, hope you and MarLa had just as fun as I did abroad! Love y’all
hey parents! Thank you so much for this amazing trip! I got to see and learn so many new cultures that I didn’t even know existed. I love y’all so much y’all revthe best thank you for giving me this opportunity. – love Arden see y’all soon
Salam Malekum! Bonjour ma famille! Javais un incroyable voyage. Okay that’s all the French Corbitt is willing to teach me… but we climbed Toubkal, went to the market, and even got to go swimming and cook our own dinner. I have had the time of my life, and I am so so so thankful for this experience. See you back in CLT… maybe… I might stay in Madrid though Love, Ellie
hey, I’ve had an amazing time in Spain and Morocco doing all my favorite things and meeting new people and with incredible leaders. I also happen to know that Spencer had a great time too! Thank you for letting me come here and experience this
hey fam, having the best time ever. Summited a mountain and got to go shopping since I last wrote. This trip has been so amazing, I never want to come home. Hope you guys had a blast in Spain. Au revoir forever, corbs
Hi Mom and Dad! These past two weeks have been filled with awesome activities and great people. I’m very glad to have gone on this trip, thank you so much for sending me. I can’t wait to see you guys soon and hear what you have been up to. See you soon, Walker
hi! Thank you sooo much for this trip! I’m so thankful for this experience and these people. It’s been amazing!!! Happy late bday mom 🙂 see y’all soon and can’t wait to hear about Leyden’s trip! Xoxo
hi mom and dad, thank you so much for this amazing trip, I am so happy you sent me on the trip. I can’t wait to see y’all soon in Atlanta.
Hey y’all, thank you guys so much for making it possible for me to go on this trip. It has been such a great experience and I have had a ton of fun. Can’t wait to see y’all soon. Love, Will
July 1, 2022
Our trekking through the Picos couldn’t have been more of a success. Broad mountains, sheer cliffs, clear water and delicious food all played part in a great few days in the beautiful North Spain. Upon arrival the group was already electrified with excitement and positivity. As soon as we dropped packs at our first beautiful mountain hostel, Corbitt supplied the troops with her fitting mountain-themed playing cards and the whole group was busy for hours until dinner. (Incredible victory of Kemps by Lillian and I).
On the first day of trekking, LOD’s Walker and Lillian led the troops throughout the beautiful and ridiculously impressive trails of the gorge in between Cain and Sotres. Impeccable attitudes from the uniquely Arden, Anabel and Halle helped the group float through the 13 kilometers we had for us on the first day. Max the mountain goat whisperer had the group belly laughing with his instant relationships with every mountain goat (and cat) we had passed on this trek until present. At the end of the hike, we went down the valley to a crystal-clear river that flowed beautifully, yet incredibly cold. This river was not too cold for Ellie as she jumped right in for a closer look.
The second day of hiking was a huge success as it was beautiful weather, beautiful attitudes, and even more beautiful views of the valley in between the mountains we were hiking next to the previous day. We finished up the long but fruitful hike at a well worth mountain refuge. The third day of hiking was one for the books, we were truly up in the mountains near the peaks. Our fearless leaders Drew Thompson and Will Bennett helped lead the group way up and down the peaks just in time for the rain to come down as we were loading up into the van for Llanes for surfing and canyoneering. We were able to be under, in, above and back under the clouds throughout the day and it was an experience that none of us will ever forget, and it was a perfect way to top off our epic trekking portion of the trip.
Our second session couldn’t be more successful so far, the crew is getting along super well. We are pleased to be able to lead this posse throughout the mountains, canyons and coasts of Spain and Morocco.
Best wishes over in the states,
Corley and Ella
Just finished hiking and saw some of the coolest things I have ever seen. Love and miss you guys and I’ll see you later – Max
Hi everyone! We just wrapped up our hike through the Spanish mountains and there were so many beautiful views. So many cool things have happened and I can’t wait to tell you all about it – Walker
Hey Mom and Dad I just finished hiking some amazing mountains. Can’t wait to see y’all love you guys -Drew
Hey y’all we just finished hiking through the Spanish mountains and it was nothing like what I have ever come before. Can’t wait to see y’all in a week! – Love Will
Hey! I’m having the best time!! It’s all amazing. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Spain has been awesome and I am so excited to see Morocco next. Love ya and see you and hank soon!! Anabel
Hey fam! We just finished our time in Spain and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. See y’all soon. Love y’all and have fun at Crabtree! – Halle
Of course I loved hiking, I am doing all the things I love like Moonup and listening to music. Mom! I got to jump off a cliff! Anyways I miss Ella the most! Love Lillian
Hey parents! Miss y’all so much. I loved hiking and the views were insane and I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it. Hope y’all are having fun miss y’all! Love Arden
Hola familia! Me gusta mucho mi viaje a Españia! Nosotros caminamos en las montañas por 3 días. Hoy, nosotros hacemos surf en el mar, eso fuy muy divertido. No quiero volver a los Estados Unidos:( Te amo, Ellie
What’s up!! Just finished hikes in the Spanish mountains and now I’m a pro surfer. Leaving for Morocco soon. And hey clt peeps miss y’all <3. Having so much fun ~Corbitt
These fellas are awesome! – Corley
June 27, 2022
Hello Spain + Morocco Families!
We heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Spain. The trip is off to a great start as they are headed into their trekking section, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!