It was the summer of 1969 (OK 41 years ago) when I went with six fellow students to Morocco as part of the University of East Anglia Expedition.
Three of us were first years from the faculty of Environmental Sciences (Ben Allgood, Pete Smith and me), the others were second year Biology students – Peter Robinson, Peter Davis, Susie Lane and Pauline Wells.
My project was to sample soils at regular intervals from the valley bottom to the top of the valley side, on a limestone bedrock in the High Atlas mountains. The task was to compare this soil catena to one published elsewhere on limestone in the British climate. This was to be my undergraduate dissertation -fun, thin and not groundbreaking, thus contributing in no small measure to my lower second class degree.
Memorable moments include waking up to discover a scorpion just inches from my nose (I screamed, and I feel sure the scorpion would have as well), Pete Davis losing much facial hair in an accident whist pressurising a petrol camping stove on a campsite outside Marrakesh, trying to explain to Spanish Customs that a black steel drum of whitish powder was just dried potato, helping the biologists extract and preserve the testes of grasshoppers in sample tubes of alcohol, and being woken just before dawn by a camel train passing our roadside tent high in the mountains.