Touring Morocco by Bike (5.3): Midelt – Imilchil

Midelt 米德特 – Imilchil

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 3 (42km)
Those changing scenery, those people I met, those things happened in a day, when I try to write as a article, sometimes I doubt if the memory is correct. Were those rich and colorful experiences happen in just one day?

It was pretty cold in Atlas mountain during Autumn, in general temperature drops to few °C at night , everyday I waited until sunrise to warm me up, so I started quite late especially when I was in the valley. I continued my journey in this narrow valley, road became steeper after 10km, and the view was more wide open, mountains were getting grander. Wild kids were throwing stones when I passed the village – Tighadouine, although they were not intent to hurt you, and that was not the first time in this region, I was still feeling angry and helplessness.

A 10km zigzag road with 5% steepness leads to the last mountain pass to Imilchil, I was surrounded by endless mountains, with fields down to the valley, and traditional dressed shepherds taking care their sheeps. What a remarkable scenery! This is one of the most memorable moment for my trip in Morocco.

Follow the valley which I camped last night

Follow the valley which I camped last night

Huge mountain and small village

Huge mountain and small village

Scenery is perfect only when it comes with people

Scenery is perfect only when it comes with people

I spent almost 2 hours to climb this 10km, just because I stopped so much for taking photo, sunny day became cloudy, it seemed it’s going to rain soon.

stopped too much, even the clear sky felt 'boring'

stopped too much, even the clear sky felt ‘bored’

I was so excited, didn’t even know that I have reached the top, only until I saw the land was green and dotted with plants, probably because water is more sufficient at this side. I went downhill nonstop and quickly reached a pretty village – Tilmi, kids ran from hillside and tried to stop me. I was little bit terrified by previous experience of being thrown by stones, so I cycled as fast as possible and passed the village, feeling strongly in my mind – “Yes! Escape!”. It is quite a funny moment when I look back.

From Tilmi, the road goes downhill gently to Imilchil, magnificent mountain view changed to glorious golden poplar trees. There are a wide river just few km before Imilchil, group of horses shows that there is adequate supply of clean water, it maybe easier to be a shepherd here, more than a dozen teenagers were playing football just next to the river, Imilchil is such a pleasant mountain area.

Tilmi, racing game with 'zombie' kids

Tilmi, racing game with ‘zombie’ kids

Near Imilchil, covered with these golden trees

Near Imilchil, covered with these golden trees

when you see horses, mostly it means this area has plenty of water

when you see horses, mostly it means this area has plenty of water

Imilchil is only a small town with one road, I passed by and headed to Auberge Tislite which is 5km away from the town. Suddenly it was snowing, it surprised me because that was only October. Auberge Tislite is located next to Tislite Lake, the campsite has unbeatable view, but I decided to stay in the room which was correct, it was so freezing cold at night.

And, there was a rainbow after snowing!

Auberge Tislite, best location ever

Auberge Tislite, best location ever

Tislite Lake, the color of the lake kept changing

Tislite Lake, the color of the lake kept changing

Tislite Lake, Rainbow after snowing

Tislite Lake, Rainbow after snowing

Isle Lake, red blue and white

Isle Lake, red blue and white

Imilchil Information

  • Accommodation:
    • Auberge Tislite (40MAD Campsite, 100MAD/room, how shower, kitchen)
      • GPS: 32.196614, -5.642336
      • Tel: 35526344, 535527039, 76407042
      • Website: http://auberge-tislite.com
      • 5km away from Imilchil, it’s not convenient at all, but located right next to Lake Tislit, where you can enjoy the changing color of the lake, Malika made this place the best too. She is a super kind old lady, always prepare some pastry/tea when I return.
    • Collier d’Ambre (100MAD/room, WIFI, hot shower)
      • GPS: 32.157225, -5.631337
      • Boss is talkative and speak good English, you can learn the local customs from him. There is also a comfortable restaurant.
      • There are many choices in Imilchil center, but this is the only place I have asked, I guess the price is similar in other auberges. There are some camping in the town, but the view can hardly compare to Auberge Tislite.
  • Imilchil is located remotely deep in mountains, which is not easy to reach. Tourism is booming but the center is still only a road, several kiosks and restaurants, it’s not too commercial yet. Two impressive lakes are not to be missed, Tislite Lake has dramatic color changes and Isle Lake is crystal blue with red mud. The wedding festival has freedom of choice in marriage must be special too, especially in such a conservative area. Legend says Isle Lake and Tislite Lake were tears from a couple, this Imilchil version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ makes this place romantic and also mysterious.
  • Tighadouine
    • Auberge Rex
      • GPS: 32.222208, -5.43538
      • Tel: 0666699218, 0637919487
      • The last auberge before the 2600m pass.

Photos

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1 Response

  1. August 3, 2017

    […] Midelt – Imilchil (Day 1) (Day 2) (Day 3) […]

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