Continuing our short ride through southern Morocco. Part 1 was here. Part 3 right here.
Sunrise at the oasis.
I go for a walk, passing unusual dwellings designed to slide downhill in the event of an earthquake.
Not a place to stagger back to late one night, fumbling for your keys.
We go for a ride back up the cliff
Rob tries out his new Touratech Arai-iPhone adapter mount, called a Digital Utility Camera Transom. You’d think they could come up with a snappier name.
Down below, a carefully tended mosaic of gardens lap up the autumn sun.
We take a walk over to the kasbah (fortified dwelling) at Assaragh
Then ride back down…
… to the auberge for lunch. It was built by a local who did well abroad, and chose to return something to his community. A common practise in Morocco.
After a siesta we head out to a curious ruined tsar (similar to a kasbah but more castle-like) which I passed last year.
We wind out way up into a maze of crumbling walls and collapsed palm-trunk beams.
But at the doorway it looks a bit dodgy to go further without a hardhat and full body armour.
Next day we’re back on the piste.
Heading up over Jebel Timouka, Route MA6 in my book.
Into the ranges.
Some oueds (creeks) are hard work on the heavy 650s. So we stop to cool off and let Elisa and Mustapha catch up.
The climb begins.
I don’t know about the others, but the occasional landslide repairs with football-sized rocks are barely rideable on the Terra. The suspension shoves the weight back at you in all directions nd you can tell that point is coming where it’s easier to fall than fight it. When I came this way in 2008 I broke a spring on my pickup. I’m up ahead and eventually pull over weak-kneed, strip off and empty my 3-pint bottle. The others catch up and Elisa hands out power bars. Andy’s Sertao is even more of a dog than the Husky and Patrick got pinned negotiating a gnarly hairpin, but is nevertheless amazed at the beating the XR can take. Rob finds his XR a breeze up here.
We carry on to an amazing view back south towards Jebel Bani, now only 80 miles away
Thankfully the track eases up and we reach the equally amazing Timouka Pass overlooking the Issil plain.
In the many tiny Berber villages below (the green clumps) women dye wool and work ancient looms to
produce the fine carpets you’ll find in the souks of Marrakech and Tangier
We drop off the pass, race across the plain to the highway and ride into Tazenacht for a late lunch, babbling about our awesome morning’s ride. Freshly-chopped Moroccan salad (a bit like Mexican salsa), omelette, chips and bread + tea. That’ll be $3 Down the road, plenty of room at the Hotel Sahara.
Night falls over Tazenacht.
While inside the infidels, some in fancy dress, gathered for the feast and then retire to their chilly suites.
Final part right here