The Moroccan 4×4

Moroccans call them the “Moroccan quatre quatre” or the “Berber Taxi” and you see them everywhere, waiting patiently, piled high with everything from mattresses, to boxes of apples, to cylinders of gas…. the trusty mule.

Lots of areas are the countryside are inaccessible except by foot and there the mule really comes into his or her own.  Hassan,  at twenty one, has just taken on the mule handling side of his family’s business, and he told us some of the basics.

  • The best mules are females because they are stronger and better tempered.
  • If you hire a mule, you are hiring the handler too. They come as a package.
  • You would usually shoe your mule once a week and four shoes cost 50 dhs.
  • Their main diet is wheat, and orange peel is a big treat. That’s why you see little piles of it left along the sides of paths in the mountains.
  • Every young Berber lad dreams of owning a Moto, but a mule comes a close second.
  • They are often stabled underneath the family home. The basement entrance is for mules and the ground floor for people.
  • When the guides are working out how many mules are needed for a group trip, they usually factor in about one mule for two guests, but it depends on whether the group are carrying food and camping or whether they are staying at guest houses.
  • Ice makes some of the high passes impassable even to mule traffic in the winter.

And since Moroccans don’t tend to name their working animals,  we thought this would be the best tune to be humming as you walk behind your trusty steed….

Check out our hiking trips  for more.

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