We are really fortunate where we live in Aourir because we have lots of choices when it comes to walking and hiking. You can do a beach walk to Taghazout (approx 14km) or go up the mountain behind the village and take several routes depending on time and energy levels (6km – 20km). One thing you will be sure of is that the walks are really nice and peaceful. I love to do a combination of beach and hills of around 15km so the dogs get the best of both worlds and end up in the sea.

When I go on my own or with a friend, I always take the dogs. They love it so much and it is really safe for them to run about – we rarely see anybody in the hills, but it is still full of wildlife if you have a keen eye to spot it. The dogs are not that well behaved but they know not to run off and stay pretty close by. Normally I also have a pack of street dogs that follow us too – anybody who sees me must think we have a lot of dogs!

Recently, one of our French friends invited me to join an organised weekly hike run by the UFE, a French Expat organisation, who arrange so many functions and activities all over the world. One of the major activities is the weekly hike and it is very well attended, usually around 30 or so people, so I was very interested to go along, meet some new people and see some new places. The only issue is nobody speaks English, and my French is basic, so we all try our best!

Each week, there is a new venue and we all arrange to meet somewhere and go from there – some are quite local but some are much further afield, so you can chose what you want to do. Also, some are pretty easy and short, whilst others are very tough going. My friend, Eric, is really fit and attends every week, as well as doing lots of cycling, walking and swimming so I was wondering what I was letting myself in for!

The format of the day is a gentle start and warm up with a break every 2 – 3 km, then a packed lunch at about half way, followed by a bit of a push to the finish, aiming to end around 4pm or so. You have to take plenty of water and sun screen, as it gets very hot in the valleys and you loose lots of fluid on the way.

My first outing was pretty easy, we went to a small village called Imimiki, between Aourir and Paradise Valley and did a walk along one river bed, up a mountain range, down another gorge and back – around 14km – which was medium difficulty and effort for me, but a few did struggle. The great thing is I am getting to see places I had never seen before and the scenery is stunning.

I was invited to join the UFE, so jumped at the chance to do more activities and meet more people – I am the only Brit in the Agadir group. Since then we have done a few tough ones but the spirit of the group is so good you keep going back for more – as well as the new places you see and the stunning scenery of Morocco. The great thing is that when we have guests over who want to do some hiking, I have a bunch of different routes to offer.

One thing I have bought is a Garmin Vivoactive 4 sports watch so I can map the routes and get good stats on my activities – this has been pretty good and I would recommend it for price/performance verses other brands.