I’ve been worried about today ever since I decided to head to Marrakech, because it meant climbing the Atlas mountains again. I was worried because 1, it’s cold; 2, there’s not a lot of hotels; 3, it is physically challenging. Leslie even offered to pay for my bus fare over the mountains as a Valentines day present!
It’s not hard to turn being scared into being scared and challenged. So I set off.
The road follows a river valley.
Of course there’s lots of Kasbah’s, lived in,
I climb up into the snow zone. The sunshine is hidden in the white clouds swirling around the mountain peaks.
Looking back as the road leaves the valley.
Such expansive vistas! It’s Saturday, not a lot of traffic. I ride in the middle of my lane.
At 7,400 feet. I started at 4,200 feet. There are a lot of climbs and descents.
A frozen waterfall. It is quite cold up here.
Did I mention switchbacks?
But I made it 95 KM to Taddert. I am shivering cold when I arrive, but my shirt is still wet with sweat. I get my gear into my room, and go down and order a hot tea, just to wrap my hands around the pot and stop the shivering.
Here is the view of my town looking up the street.
Looking down the street. This is the biggest town en route and there is one hotel in it.
I’m lucky that the room is 80dh and the restaurant is fairly priced. The room is unheated of course. It is supposed to get to -3 Celsius tonight. I know what to do. Put on all your clothes, put the sleeping bag on the bed, and climb in. In half an hour I am warm all over.
It’s just under 100KM to Marrakech. A lot of that will be descent. That means it will be cold. When my legs get cold they get stiff making pedaling difficult. A bulge has developed in the back rim! I’ve had to loosen the back brake so much that it is almost ineffective.
Tomorrow, Marrakech! (fingers crossed)