After a couple days of rest in the beautiful and peaceful oasis town of Tagmoute, we carried on up the road, the first day in a two-day journey to Tafraoute. Our friend Brahim, also known as our fantastic guide to the desert and all things Moroccan, suggested we take this route because of the wonderful scenery. We never doubted how gorgeous it would be, with so many lush strips of wheat and date palms, Berber women in their colourful clothing, singing as they collected firewood and worked in the fields, and the mountains all around us. What we didn’t count on was the difficult road: part paved and part dirt, it climbed steeply outside of Tagmoute with several kilometers of switchbacks and then went sharply up and down at least four more times. Every time we reached what looked like a peak we prayed for a long descent, only to find another climb around the next corner. By the late afternoon our calves were throbbing and we were only just rolling into the crossroad town of Igherm. Five roads come together here, according to our map, and the town is full of cafes and signs for different buses to all the major cities. We sat down for a break and talked over what to do, deciding reluctantly to carry on in an attempt to trim back some of the 85km stretch to Tafraoute. After a short distance we realised we were shattered and found a quiet wild camping place, just over a hill to the side of the road, in a grove of flowering almond trees.
Here is a short video from that day, of an oasis as we left Tagmoute.
1st March 2007 at 11:02 am #
Tagmoute to Igherm – A stunning road for scenery and a peek into traditional Moroccan life in a Berber area, but challenging for any cyclist and more so if you are on a loaded touring bike. The first 15km or so outside of Tagmoute is fairly easy, followed by a long stretch of switchbacks and steeply graded climbs. The road straightens out eventually but there is no real peak, instead a series of ups and downs that will have your calves pounding. There is at least one village with a store before the steep climb begins and one nearer Ighrem as well. We saw two hotels in Igherm but no campsite. The road to Tafraoute offers lots of wild camping potential.
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