Toughest riding day, so far

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 Today’s destination’s name also described our ride – “tough route.” We headed from the seashore into the Atlas mountains. From sea level to over 6,600 feet. The scenery was spectacular, route sheet instructions were open to interpretation and the roads were “changeable.” That’s one of Kevin’s favorite words. It means “we’re not sure what it will be.” Tan Tan was along the way and is famous for its “Kissing Camels.” The light wasn’t rgiht as we went south to get a picture, but was perfect now.

 We were riding with three others and entered a RAB (round about or traffic circle). They took one exit and we felt another was the correct road. We found the next described location and continued on. A few miles down the road, there were our friends ahead of us. This happened more than once today.

 Flying down this beautiful two lane in the foothills, we saw a sign with an exclamation point! We quickly slowed and found that the road was gone and we had to ride through a washout. Several miles later another ! sign appeared and arrows indicated a detour across the desert to a shallow river crossing and then back to the road. There were three of these washouts on our road today. Stated mileage to the next waypoint differed from our odometers, so we thought we’d found that famous Arabic location “wheredafugarewe” again.

 We were on narrow one and two lane village roads. Our instructions were to turn right at mile 61.6 “Green garage door just before.” We saw the green door but had traveled 17 miles farther than what was stated. We began to climb again and found a herd of goats blocking our path.

The road narrowed as it crawled up the canyon walls. The view was fantastic, but a little close to the edge of the road. It was too narrow for anything bigger than a pickup truck and the curves were often blind. Views were becoming more spectacular as we climbed. There was a cafe at the crest of 2,100 meters that was suggested by our guides. We caught up with Richard and Kevin as they were finishing their coffee. They wanted to take the dirt road by the side of the cafe to the top of this peak. We wished them well, filmed their departure and ordered an omelet. At dinner that night we learned they climbed to 2,470 meters on a difficult two track path. At the top was a Moroccan man just standing there.

It took a half hour to go the first ten miles down the mountain towards our hotel. You know there may be trouble ahead when you’re on a 1-lane dirt road and a “road narrows” sign is up ahead. Our hotel was wonderful. It had lovely rooms and a pool, but the water was too cold to swim. An orange grove was in the courtyard outside our room. They prepared a tasty dinner for us.

10 Dec Sidi Ahkfennir to Tafroute 275 miles          11 Dec Tafroute to Ourigane 205 miles

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One Response to “Toughest riding day, so far”

  1. John Marsh says:

    So good to follow your journey. Sounds like you are having quite a time. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed Christmas. We miss you both!

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