93km Timahdite – Midelt
Travelling in winter is always a bit of a gamble and after watching the news the night before, where they showed pictures of a snowstorm and also the first day of skiing in Ifrane, we weren’t sure what the road held in store for us. Ahead was a mountain pass and the weather certainly had the potential to turn nasty, with some rather large clouds on the horizon. We decided to give it a shot and faced a slow drizzle as we climbed up to Col de Zad at 2,178 meters – our highest pass so far. There is supposed to be a nice view from the peak but the fog was so thick we could hardly see each other, let alone any scenery! The fog soon lifted as we cruised downhill, passing two fellow cycle tourists on their way up. Glen and Charlotte have been on the road about the same time as we have, five months, and had come from the south where they assured us the weather was much better. Something to look forward to. After a little chat, exhanging hotel tips and information about the route, we carried on a good clip, helped by a downhill stretch that lasted several kilometers and a nice wind on our backs. Before we reached the peak we weren’t sure at all if we would reach Midelt but once over the top the going was easy and sometimes over 50km an hour for extended periods. After a late lunch in the busy town of Zeida we arrived in Midelt near the end of the afternoon. It was a bit of a shock to the senses after so many days in quiet surrounds, with kids everywhere asking us for a dirham or a pen and plenty of touts trying to drag us to one hotel or another. Thanks to Glen and Charlotte though we had a hotel recommendation and headed straight for Hotel Atlas, where we found a pleasant room with a view from the terrace for just 60DH.