Marrakech to Agadir-Tizi-n-Test Pass

Day 12     Marrakech-Agadir (180 miles Approximately)

Walls of Marrakech

Walls of Marrakech

The city walls of Marrakech are quite spectacular and we were able to take a photo just before we left. The pink hues make a charming contrast to the blues of the sky.  As we left the city behind, we formed another phalanx of motorcycles so that we could leave enmasse, without anybody becoming separated from the group. 

Tizi-n-Test pass

The Tizi-n-Test Pass is yet another road, through the High Atlas Mountains, that was constructed by the French in the 1930s.  It links Marrakech to the town of Taroudannt,

Tizi-n-Test Pass

through 200kms of mountain road.  During the winter it can be cut off through rockfalls and heavy snow.  As the road climbs steeply upwards, we were aware that we were ascending the highest mountain in North Africa.  There were severe rock formations on one side, but we were riding on the right hand side of the road, where a precipitous drop was an ominous presence.  It was only possible to ride slowly up this road as parts of it had been reduced to gravel, which can be fatal for motorcyclists.  A line of cars followed along behind. 

Tizi-n-Test Pass

This road is not for inexperienced riders, especially at this time of year.  It twists and bends and it is impossible to legislate for might lie around any corner.   Some of the bends are so sharp that on coming round them, we were faced with a sudden drop on the other side.  It took all the Baron’s riding skills to negotiate this  pass.  However, the scenery was truly magnificent.  Every so often we would notice wrecked vehicles whose drivers had failed to negotiate the narrow twisty bends properly.  Here was a lesson in careful driving.  The descent down to the Sous Valley below is even scarier and has to be done in very low gear.  In places we inched our way over loose scree and gravel.

Taroudannt-Separation of Bikes and Riders

All that slow riding had been too much for some of the group and as soon as we reached the main highway between Taroudannt and Agadir, the faster riders sped off, leaving four bikes to find their own way to the hotel in Agadir.  After a long, tiring day, we entered Agadir, only to find a large town, and a group of four bikers with no idea where their hotel was located.  Eventually, the Baron found a local traffic policeman, and in his very best French, asked for directions.  Still, we couldn’t find the hotel and it was getting late.  We returned to the traffic cop, who left his traffic duty, and took us to the hotel.  His kindness made up for the disappointment of our group leader and the other bikers abandoning us miles from our destination.

Naomi Flashman





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