Touring Morocco by Bike (15.2) : Marrakesh – Taroudant (Day 3)

Marrakesh – Taroudant,via Tizi n'Test

Marrakesh – Taroudant,via Tizi n’Test

Marrakesh – Taroudant, via Tizi n’Test (225km)

Day 3
I enjoyed the spectacular mountain view while I was having breakfast. A impressive 10km shairpin road in these rolling hills leads to the Souss plain, on the other end of the plain is Anti Atlas, which is a range of 2000-3000m high. I was about 50km to Anti Atlas but with the same sea level as those peaks. Imagine you are at the peak in Hong Kong, and you are able to see from Stanley to Shenzhen, the view was unexceptionally broad.

Amazing landscape all the way to Anti Altas, which is 50km away

Amazing landscape all the way to Anti Altas, which is 50km away

The road from both side of the pass has its own merits, it is zig zag road in a narrow valley on the east and extensive panoramic winding road on the west. The road condition of first 5km from the pass is not so good, sometimes broken or dirt road and water is pouring from the cliff. I stopped so frequent to take photos, half of the road had no fence at all, which adding a wild feeling, I really wanted to stay longer for the majestic view. There are some cafes on the road which you can enjoy quietly.

I was more inside a valley about half of the uphill, there was a small village at the foot of a tremendous mountain, with some clouds on a blue sky. Clouds? I was feeling strange “How many days I haven’t see any clouds?”

The road become gentle after 15km from the pass, with different trees on both sides, and shepherds and sheeps are often around. This section of around 10km is good for wild camping as you can find big trees to hide yourself, after that, the road joins to N10 national road, then all the way slowly downhill to Taroudant.

Photos

This area is full of Argan trees, there is even a state-run Argan preserve. Argan Oil is very popular in Morocco, for both cometic and cooking, it seems anything can become luxury after adding Argan oil. I have no interest for that, but Argan tree give a funny story – Goats climb on the Argan tree and eat their beloved leaves and fruit. If you search Goat, Argan trees from the internet, you can find many videos about that (but sometimes I doubt if it is real…), this is a very typical picture of Morocco.

I kept on searching for goats on this boring road, was hoping to see this special picture, I stopped and observed for awhile everytime I met some sheeps. Um… I could only tell they love those leaves very much, but they never climb the tree. (Or maybe they just eat everything green…) Herdsmans showed me with body language “Yes, they do climb the tree!”. Well, I was no luck that day, but still saw some sheeps eating leaves greedy with 2 legs standing, their bodies stretched so long and it was already quite funny. (I have seen some goats eating on the tree the other day)

Argan tree lover from San Travel on Vimeo.

I had lunch at the small town – Oulad Berhil, which is about 45km from Taroudant, this area is all agriculture farmland, or even big greenhouses. The road was extremely busy, everyone drove terribly fast because the road was straight and smooth, this made me so tired mentally, I needed to stopped to have a rest several time at roadside cafe, I could still look at the mountain from far, and I already started to miss those mountain road.

Taroudant is called little Marrakesh, which is pretty worth to visit. The Place al-Alaouyine is like a mini Djemaa El-Fna, you can find similar street performances here, traditional Souss music, magic, storytellers, or boxing games, etc. It’s much less touristic than Marrakesh, performers will only come to you for money when you are taking photos. The atmosphere is very laid-back and it’s good to stroll around in the medina.

Street performers of boxing games at Taroudant Morocco from San Travel on Vimeo.

Information / Accommodation:

  • Tizi n’Test
    • La Haut Auberge
      • located exactly at the pass, I guess it should be cheaper than Hotel Gite Bellevue. They do mention camping but it must be damn cold even during summer.
    • Hotel Gite Bellevue (250MAD half board, hot shower in basket)
      • GPS: 30.860694, -8.376929
      • The relatively well-facilitated guesthouse at Tizi n’Test, the panoramic view is stunning and best position for both sunrise and sunset.
    • Gite Sunset (50MAD/night)
      • GPS: 30.854913, -8.378788
      • 5km after Tizi n’Test, a very basic guesthouse with restaurant, the view is similar to Hotel Gite Bellevue
  • Tizi n’Test – Taroudant
    • There are many cafes with nice view within 10km from Tizi n’Test.
    • Oulad Berhil, 45km from Taroudant has restaurants and market, also some guesthouses which cost about 100MAD/night. There are small market every 10km from Oulad Berhil to Taroudant.
  • Taroudant
    • Camp le Jardin (50MAD, WI-FI, Hot Shower)
      • GPS: 30.477424, -8.84362
      • I could put my tent inside a small garden with table and chairs, the owner even gave me a mattress and let me to stay warm. (Taroudant is not at high attitude, but it was very cold)
      • There is a supermarket (probably the best in the town) just at the road junction to the campsite.
      • It’s few km from center, but there is parking for bicycle in medina, 2MAD
    • Hootel el-Warda
      • GPS: 30.468089, -8.88012
      • Tel: 0528852763
      • a small hotel near Place al-Alaouyine, 70MAD/night

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  1. August 2, 2017

    […] Marrakech – Taroudant, via Tizi n’Test (Day 1-2)(Day 3) […]

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