Until 2009 this 122-km route was restricted to 4WD and offroad bikes but the Moroccan roadbuilders have been hard at work and with the construction of the Ait Hani to Imilchil section of tarmac have enabled a totally new north-south traverse of the High Atlas all the way from El Ksiba to Tinerhir. This route describes the southern part of this traverse, one of the highest road links in Morocco.
At km63 there’s an optional 8km technical (red) offroad section taking in a waterfall and an area of salt mines. Also an opportunity to find a geocache in the Todra Gorge at km100.
km0: Imilchil chocked with snow in January 2008 (photo by Steve Attwood)
Decked out for the betrothal moussem in September
km15: beautiful river meadows in spring...
the field boundaries are deliberately built up like paddy fields to allow the water to soak down
km20: back to spring time with fruit trees and a line of ancient poplars
km 24: the souq that accompanies the September betrothal moussem
farriers doing a roaring trade reshoeing donkeys and mules
km37: Auberge Afoud in Agoudal
poplar trees are deliberately planted near villages to be used for roofing timbers.
men are responsible for ploughing and planting, women for harvesting
this is why I love Morocco in the spring time
Agoudal getting towards sunset
km53: just before Tizi n’Tirherhouzine at 2683m
and then by chance I met friends—Hana and David from MotoAdvenTours with clients
km64: offroute heading for the salt mine
salt workings all around
km70: Ait Hani fortress, now used by civilians
km91: marabout of a saint—Sidi Mohamed T'massint
km92: start of the gorge as the road starts to descend following the Oued Todra
km97: in 2007 the gorge took a hammering in a massive flood
km99: some of the hiking trails marked by Auberge Le Festival
km101: Auberge Le Festival, situated on a sunny corner in the gorge
part of the new addition
one of the cave rooms, warm in winter, cool in summer
km105: heading towards the narrow section...
...which is about as far as most tourists get (Italian riders on red Ducatis)
Irene Cullis offroading in 1974 with a Triumph Vitesse and again 32 years later in 2006 in a Mercedes A Class
Oct 2008: Nina Joce tackling the Oued Todra on her BMW R1200GS
Nina and Brett Joce and Barry Geasley: before the new bridge was built (video by Andy Shortridge)
km115: overlooking the Tinerhir palmerie
km122: Sir Winston Churchill's 'View of Tinghir' sold in December 2006 for $487,000...
...this is an attempt 70+ years later to replicate the image (mountains in background lost in haze)