Friday, October 18, 2019

Atlas lessons (7809)

Riding the High Atlas
Midelt to Goulmima yesterday was the most memorable ride of my biking life.

I kept wondering how I could describe the landscape and its effect on me without descending into hyperbole and cliché. I still don't know.

Valley after valley of red and orange rock walls, a huge variety of formations, always faced with ancient-looking sweeps of ridges and peaks, it went on and on. I thought that, from a riding and looking experience, this might be the highlight of the trip. (With apologies to the fjords.)

Desert dawn in Midelt

Photo stop

Tea stop

 Valley view
Even as I post these photographs I know they don't capture the vast magnificence of it.

As we moved south we could sense in the colour, heat and air that the High Atlas mark the boundary of the desert. When we reached Errachidia - the garrison town which, but for a failed Airbnb booking would have been our stopover - our route turned sharply from southward to the west. We were now running along the valley on the Sahara side of the mountain range and the nature of the road changed. Undulating and almost completely straight for long sections, we were no longer in the hills but on the edge of the sands.

Our place of rest is Goulmima, an oasis. As we crested the rise that announced it, we saw green spreading before us for the first time that day.

Fifty ways to lose your luggage
After the incident of the dislodged dry bag, I demonstrated that one doesn't always learn from experience. I secured our temporary replacement bag with our cargo straps noting that one ran close to the exhaust outlet. Too close, it turned out. Luckily Angelika spotted it before it gave way. Hmm... Anyway, we still have the bag and its contents. Just!

Almost exhausted 


  1. It's getting increasingly hard to make any kind of comment (either meaningful or trite) on your blog, as your adventure becomes more remote from the world we inhabit and as we here slide into a political chasm. We think of you often, concern and envy in equal measure, when we should probably be more concerned about what is taking place on our doorstep. I look forward to receiving those notifications that you have added to the blog; it seems to me that your world is the real one, and that ours is the pale shadow. Keeping your belongings attached to the bike rather than strewn over a remote Atlas road seems like a good idea.

  2. Mission to Mars!

    Write a song about it!

  3. Sudden feels very different! Exciting stuff! x


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