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89km Outside Igherm – Tafraoute

February 28th, 2007 1 comment


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.

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One Response to “89km Outside Igherm – Tafraoute”

  1. friedel says:

    Ighrem to Tafraoute – The road was in good condition up until the town of Ait Abdallah, where it narrowed and became full of potholes and cracks. Still very passable on a touring bike, but we had to pull over whenever a truck or camper van went by. Beware of the distance to Tafraoute, it is marked as 85km from Ighrem but is actually nearly 100km. This route is best done in two days, but you can do it in one very long day, helped by more than 10km of descent after the last col into Tafraoute. There are lots of wells to give you water the whole length of the route. Ait Abdallah was the only town of any size and there were no hotels or campsites that we passed, until just outside Tafraoute.

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