Touring Morocco by Bike (5.2): Midelt – Imilchil
Midelt – Imilchil (152km)
Impressive Landscape, remote villages, river crossing adventure, blustery wind, scary bad road, hospitality locals, and the most ‘special’ – wild kids throwing stones. Combining all these gave me a memorable 3 day journey to cross the Altas mountain, for sure it is one of the best cycling route in Morocco.
Day 2 （56KM）
I couldn’t sleep well because of the strong wind yesterday night, but it was a good idea to stop at that place, because soon I reached a valley with completely damaged road. Firstly the road has many broken holes, then some broken path due to sand/stone flow, and I found that the road is blocked by big rock in the end, so I needed to move to the riverbed! What kind of road it is? I doubt if I was lost …
I either pushed or pulled or lifted my bicycle, luckily the river was quite shallow, and finally I reached Tagoudit after 2 hours struggling. I was so happy that I was in the correct path, but again so much annoyed by the local kids, I could hardly stop to take photos for this remote village…
The auberge at the end of the village is the first accommodation available in these two days, Agoudim, another village not far from Tagoudit, also has a auberge. From here, the road joins to the main road to Imilchil, so there are some auberges and campsites on the way, the road condition is also better, in low tourist season, there were only locals with horses or donkeys carrying goods on the road.
It is a gentle climb to mountain pass – Col Tiz Timcha from 1800m to 2400m, mostly in a unique and colorful valley, the scenery is stunning especially at around 10km before the pass. There are villages for about every 10km, Tamaloute and Anfgou are the most beautiful and giving a sense of seclusion from the world.
I reached Anfgou in the afternoon, this impressive village lines with well-proportioned traditional houses, I could admire its beauty quietly because the road is built away from the village. I wished to stay to see the village during sunset, so I asked if there is any places to stay there. Someone bought me to a guesthouse and tried to search the owner. Kids came and touched my bike and luggages as usual, a woman shouted to them and reminded me to be careful, so they ran away and came back in 3 minutes, again and again~
I didn’t stay there because it was quite expensive, it cost 200MAD half board for a very basic room. But later, I was thinking it’s still reasonable counting the remoteness of the village.
After Anfgou, the road goes along a narrow valley with some small fields and houses, it is very difficult to find a hidden place. At the end, I set my tent under a tree at a small hillside. I didn’t expect there were so many shepherds passed by before dusk. They were surprised to see me and just gave a peaceful smile before continuing their way home, maybe there are so much used to the nomadic lifestyle. Also, I declined a invitation to stay in a home nearby, and this man gave me a oversized bread that I needed 4 days to finish~
Accommodation / Information:
- Auberge Jbel Raids
- Tel: 0676607362
- GPS: 32.39184, -5.16606
- Auberge Jbel Raids
- Auberge Oudaden
- Located between Agoudim and Tamaloute. I had fried eggs, bread and tea there, I thought they mean 10MAD but they wanted 100MAD which is not a reasonable price in Morocco. We argued a lot and I gave them 20MAD… have to be careful because this is already a tourist area.
- GPS: 32.3606, -5.18278
- Tel: 0641062049
- Auberge Ouabbass
- GPS: 32.3825, -5.1737
- Tel: 0613032825
- Auberge Ouabbass
- Simple guesthouse with no sign, you have to ask locals for the direction
- 200MAD half board
- GPS: 32.286498, -5.391594
- There are several auberges on the road, but I am not sure if you can find the owner, or you may have to wait for long time, I guess most of them will also provide basic food.
- Only one Kiosk found at Tagoudit, sometimes will pass river, but not recommended to drink directly.