89km Outside Igherm – Tafraoute

The final few kilometers into TafraouteFinally, a downhill!!As February ends, we’ve been on our bicycles for six full months and travelled over 7,000km. We’ve seen a few challenging roads over this time but today will rest forever in our minds as a route with a rare combination of exceptional scenery and terrain that nearly left us in tears more than once, had it not been for the amazing views all around us. You can see just a short clip from that day, not the hilliest part but beautiful!

Yes, that hill really is that steep. Thankfully we were going down!We were awake early enough to see the first light on our tent in the almond grove as the sun came over the mountains and after a coffee and our usual breakfast of bread, jam and bananas we were on our way just after 8am. The first few bends took us down a hill, lifting our spirits, but then the first climb appeared. Our legs were still sore from the day before and we puffed our way up the hill. Any joy from the descent disappeared quickly as another uphill turned out to be just around the corner. This up, down, up, down pattern continued for the whole day and we reached speeds of nearly 60km an hour as we flew down the road, only to chug back up again at barely faster than a walking pace. Thank goodness for the scenery. Thousands of almond trees were in full blossom, whole vallies turned white and pale pink by the flowers. Villages seemingly carved out of rock and perched on top of cliffs also had us staring amazed, not to mention the colourful and hardworking Berber women out in their dozens collecting firewood and cutting grass as food for animals. We enjoyed the kindness of two Italians, who yelled “bravissimo” from their camper van as we slogged up a hill, and a German couple who stopped to fill our bottles with cold water. Motorhomes rarely stop to talk to us, but when they do we always continue on down the road with our spirits lifted by their kindness.