July 6, 2022
Hi Spain and Morocco families!
We just finished our final section of the trip and the past few days in Morocco have been absolutely amazing. We spent our time exploring the beautiful Marrakech markets, trying our hand at Moroccan cooking, and climbing to the summit of Mount Toubkal!
We arrived in Morocco and headed straight to our Riad where we stayed for two nights. We were welcomed with a big Moroccan lunch on the patio and a beautiful view that got the whole group excited for our days ahead. We woke up the next morning excited and eager for our first full day. We headed into Marrakech where we spent our morning exploring the market and learning more about the culture and customs of Morocco. Our tour began at a local pharmacy where we learned all about different products and natural spices such as Moroccan oil, essential oils, saffron, and Royal tea. Liza particularly enjoyed the pharmacy and was excited about the new products she had purchased. We continued our tour and went to a carpet shop where we learned about how these beautiful carpets are hand-sewn and how they represent life and marriage. Lastly, we finished our morning in Marrakech with some free time to shop and explore the markets as a group. Our tour guide, Muhammad, taught the girls how to bargain with the vendors and Estelle impressed the whole group by getting her price down to half of what it originally was. Avery influenced many of the girls by buying a beautiful woven purse that she had been eyeing all day. With lots of new gifts in hand, the girls were excited and ready to head back to the Riad for the afternoon. They laid by the pool, listened to music, and Claire kept the group entertained with her many different jumps into the pool. We ended our amazing day with a cooking class where we made our own dinner and learned some traditional Moroccan cooking styles. Sophia was amazing at making the bread and helped the rest of the group learn how to do it. After we ate every bit of our homemade dinner, we went to bed early in preparation for our transfer to the mountains and our big hike the next day.
We woke up early and the girls were excited to head to the mountains to begin our ascent up mount Toubkal. The hike to base camp was tough but the girls did an amazing job staying positive and motivated as we continued up. Renee was extremely encouraging and kept the spirits high even in our tough moments. When we arrived at basecamp the girls were so proud of themselves and blown away by the beautiful view and the elevation we had gained. That night we had an amazing Moonup led by Liza and Merric under the stars and surrounded by mountains on every side.
The next morning, we woke up before the sun came up and began our trek to the summit. It was a tough climb up but the girls were motivated and excited for their hard work to pay off. After a few hours up the winding trail, and a couple of false peaks, we finally arrived at the summit, playing music, and greeted by Chorizo the mountain dog. It was only a matter of minutes before Lydia and Merric were fast asleep taking a celebratory nap at the top! Caroline led us down the mountain and the girls were in high spirits when we arrived back at the hostel. It was the perfect way to end our adventure in Morocco and although we are sad to leave this beautiful country, the group is excited for one last stop in Madrid for our banquet night!
– LG and Diego
July 1, 2022
We just wrapped up our trekking section in the beautiful Picos De Europa park. On Tuesday we transferred from Llanes to the secluded mountain town Sotres. There, the girls settled into the hostel and enjoyed the breathtaking views right outside of the place. We enjoyed an early dinner and went to bed early to rest up for our hike the next day.
On Wednesday morning we prepared for the day head with a light breakfast in the quaint dining room of our hostel. Merric and Claire, our leaders of the day, spoke with our guides about the hike and they then shared the information with the group. We then embarked on a journey through the Picos. The hike was full of amazing views of the mountains. We were all in awe by how large the mountains are in person. There was a lot of uphill on this first hike making it tough for some, but Renee helped keep everyone in a positive and enthusiastic mood. After a lot of hills and fog, we made it to our stay for the night. We enjoyed a nice dinner and wrapped up the night with a nice MoonUp led by our leaders of the day. The girls celebrated their accomplishment with jokes and laughter. Sophia and Liza expressed their newfound love for hiking. We then wrapped up MoonUp and called it a night.
The next day was another day of trekking; however, this time we were going downhill rather than up. The weather was perfect, and the hike was incredible. We navigated through wide open fields and dense forests. Eventually, we made our way down to our lunch spot. After lunch, we had some time to kill before our rides arrived, so some of the girls decided to play a celebrity guessing game. Caroline was exceptionally good at figuring out who her famous people were. Some of the girls also decided to go to the gift shop. Lydia and Avery snagged some nice Picos De Europa merchandise. Our rides then arrived and transferred us to Cain.
After settling into our hostel, the group enjoyed a delicious meal for dinner and wrapped up the night with a great MoonUp. Led by Estelle and Renee, the group got deep with their questions and opened up with each other. Today, we wrapped up our trekking with a hike through an insane canyon. The girls braved the heat and conquered the canyon. Now we’re headed back to Madrid to get ready for Marrakech!
-LG and Diego
June 28, 2022
Hi Spain and Morocco families and friends!
Everyone has arrived in Spain and so far it has been absolutely amazing!
We began our adventure driving from Madrid to Llanes, a small ocean side town, where we got to explore and surf. The girls were exhausted from their airport day and they all slept nearly the whole car ride to our Refugio. After we arrived and the girls were feeling rested, we had some free time to settle in and get to know each other. In the time we arrived at dinner the group dynamic completely changed. I can genuinely say I’ve never had a group bond and get close so quickly. It was only a matter of time before they were outside having a photo shoot with the sun setting behind the mountains. Our first dinner was filled with lots of laughs and entertaining stories from Renee and our night was ended under the stars for our first MoonUp.
We woke up the next morning to a leisurely breakfast and then began our first full day of activities canyoneering! The girls absolutely loved sliding down the rocks, jumping into the natural pools, and they thought our wetsuits and helmets were hilarious to wear. Sophia led the group down the river with no fear or hesitation with anything we encountered. She was the only one in the group to participate in cliff jumping and did the perfect cannonball into the water, giving the rest of the girls a good splash. Our day continued to get better as we traveled into Llanes for a pizza lunch and a visit to a local gelato stand by the ocean. Our day continued with our afternoon surfing class. Avery impressed us all with her natural surfing skills and was able to get up and catch a wave on her first try! Everyone did an amazing job, and despite some very funny wipeouts, the whole group was able to get up successfully and ride some waves that afternoon. That night we had an amazing MoonUp which was led by our first LODs, (leaders of the day), Liza and Lydia. They found a perfect spot for the whole group to come together and afterwards everyone stayed up talking and playing games.
The next morning, we slept in and woke up to another great breakfast and beautiful blue skies. We immediately went to the beach and all the girls got to practice the surfing skills they had learned from the day before. After some time in the water, Lydia, Merric, and Caroline found a very cool cave inside the rocks next to the ocean, which they explored and discovered it was home to many crabs and some beautiful seashells. While they were off exploring the shore, Claire and Estelle continued to surf and stayed out as long as they could to catch the last waves of the day! After our fun morning of surfing we were sad to say goodbye to the beautiful beaches of Llanes, but are all so excited and eager to begin our adventures trekking through the Picos de Europa National Park!
– LG and Diego
June 27, 2022
Hello Spain and 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 head into their canyoneering section today, 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!