Ait Ali to Ifghane

Ait Ali to Ifghane

One thing can be said for Morocco, the roads are quiet. Traffic is generally very spartan 🚗 This is a poor country for most of the population. So travel is either walking, bicycle or a Chinese motorbike! Any traffic is relatively slow moving and with that, drivers are generally cautious around anyone on a bicycle 🚲 Not so where I herald from!

We stop in Amadel for supplies. A good stock of vegetables 🥗 to be had at the market stalls.

Soon after leaving Amadel, Jude and me had our first crossed words! I think it had something to do with me barking orders! Jude has a grasp of what she’s undertaking (apparently), so I can f#@ꓘ right off! Probably right, but don’t tell her!

The next excitement for the day, is a bridge 🌉 4/5th built! Fortunately, they hadn’t removed the original ‘working’ crossing i.e. a ford! But I imagine it would be fairly tricky with a swollen river anyway!

The road now petters out to become a track. We creep past the settlement Ardamene.

Most settlements (villages) are constructed with mud blocks. It’s hard at times to tell if a property has finished construction or not. Families are in, one way of the other!

Soon I locate a wild 🏕️ camping spot a few hundred meters off the track and away from passing eyes and ears. Out of sight, out of mind!

This wild camping spot turns into two nights 🌌 Why not? It’s secluded and nice to have a day exploring the hills. The only way to stay here was for me to go down to the river at some point and collect water 🏞️ The quality of the water looked OK. There should be clear water running off the Atlas Mountains. It’s probably the snow that has thawed! But one never knows if any villages are up stream. I didn’t notice any nappies floating by, so that’s a good start! Boiled the water or throw in a chlorine tab for good measure or both!

The next day was a cool morning and great riding through the hills and valleys. I wasn’t sure if we had a plan in place for the night, but we ended up in a villa 🏡 This plan was no doubt made on the hoof! Best plans generally are!

Cost wise, it was fairly cheap. So two nights it was then. The rest day (another) was spent, as you do on a rest day, cycling 9 kms up-hill to the sizable town of Asni. The 9 kms looked flat on an un-contoured map. Strange that!

Asni is a tourist spot, for well heeled 💲 heading up into the Atlas Mountains. We were harassed like no ones business by restaurant and accommodation touts. Nothing I hate more than been mistaken for a tourist! I provided some suitable words for a guy who was standing extremely close by while I withdrew money from an ATM. He then got just as pissed with me … all I’ll say is, we didn’t exchange postal addresses for future Xmas 🎅🏻 cards! But then I don’t think he follows Christianity. So a least we had something in common!

So as not to cycle a route that we’d already cycled ‘up’, we arranged a lift. That would be simple in most places, but not here. I advised them that I needed a vehicle that could accommodate two bicycles 🚲🚲 So they rocked up with a car! Their thinking was they could force the bikes in anyway they could. I insisted they didn’t. After more gibberish, eventually a van is called 🚛 How hard was that!

Everything is loaded up in the van … easy when you have space! So 9 kms up to the outskirts of Asni! Not wanting to go all the way into Ansi, as we’d only get harassed by touts, again!

A brief cycle down into Asni. Greeted my children 🧒🏻🧒🏻🧒🏻🧒🏻 outside school, using their newly acquired English … only words I could make out was English profanity. It could be worse, they could’ve been throwing stones. As we pop out of Asni on the dirt road, we were greeted by stone-throwing-children! 🥌 OH well, I won’t be rushing back to Asni for a while!

Tonight I’m hoping to find a wild camping spot, but the pressing concern is water. At that point out of the blue, I behold a couple of girls 👧🏽 carrying 1.5 litres of bottled water. I’m promptly in there and bartering for bottles. We cycle away with 6! Don’t think I won the barter, though!

Now the search of a spot to camp. After a bit of scurrying around on my part, I discover an idyllic spot looking onto the Atlas Mountains 🏔️ Nice.

Photos generally shot with a Samsung EX1 24-72mm f/1.8 and a Nokia Lumia N9 phone as back-up.

The map is interactive. Click on the route or icons for detail.