Mr. Maguire, I presume?

21 August 2023

Dr. Livingstone is long gone, and now there is a kindler, gentler explorer trekking the varied landscapes of Africa: our very own Mr. Gav Maguire!   And gone too is the weighty baggage of messianic zeal and cultural imperialism: Mr. Maguire’s expeditions (with the considerable help of True Adventures) are an exquisitely crafted mix of adventure and development, mutually beneficial to both student traveler and the local resident.  After a mere a-hop-and-a-skip to Slovenia in summer of 2022, the focus was back on Africa. Uganda awaits 2024, but we have plenty of pics and stories from Gav’s Gang Expedition to Morocco this past summer! Preparations for the school’s fourteenth expedition were underway months ago, with trainining hikes, equipment checks and donut-packing. Climbing Mount Toubkal (4167m) would be no joke! The group’s first morning in Morocco was misleadingly plush: coffee and croissants by the pool. But by the following day, the gang were into the rugged terrain and, after an altitude acclimatisation trek, starting their community project in the Atlas Mountains. After lending a hand and mixing with the locals, the expedition took a step further and upward: the serious trekking began! Some hard hiking, beautiful views and delicius al fresco meals followed, as the troop eventually made it to base camp and began their assault on Mount Toubkal.

Do you remember what you did on the morning of this past June 15th? Cut the grass? Strolled down to the cornershop for the morning paper? Check out Gav’s Gang’s a.m. schedule for that day: the day started at 3am for breakfast; commenced the trek at 3.45 a.m.; reached the peak of Toubkal (4167m) at 9.30 a.m.; and strolled back down to base camp at 12.30 p.m.! Then there was the more casual saunter back to the coast, a farewell meeting with the muleteers and a last meal and sunset on the Mediterranean. Team Uganda, you have some work to do to match the memorable meanderings of Team Morocco!

by Charles Latvis

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