Fes-Midelt (Aprroximately 180 miles)

Day 7        Fes-Midelt-Moyen-Middle Atlas Mountains

It was with regret that we left Fes, heading south into the Moyen, Middle Atlas Moutains.  Next stop the town of Midelt.  The scenery was wild and very beautiful.  I understand  few visitors explore this part of Morocco, so it remains largely unaffected by all the detritus of tourism.  The population, unsurprisingly, is sparse.   There were great forests of cedar along with some very desolate scenery. 

We by-passed Azrou, a town well known for it’s monkey population (and I don’t mean people!). It’s population is Berber and numbers around 45,000. It sits between the cedar forests and a wild volcanic area peppered with craters.  No time to stop and explore.  Onwards past Timahdit, a former French outpost.  It never ceases to amaze me how the French influence is seen in so many countries worldwide.  It seems that in Morocco even the smallest children speak French alongside their native Arabic.  

The bike purred along these roads, it’s manoeverability amazing given the load it was carrying and the demands of negotiating the sweeping curves and steep ascents and descents of this particular highway. Sadly, there was insufficient time to take many photos, so my album on this stretch of our odyssey is somewhat depleted.

We passed over the Col Du Zad, some 7,100ft.  It is the catchment area for 3 great rivers which divide here. The road is steep in places and the chief Biker had to concentrate totally on how he was riding.  It was a thrilling ride, nonetheless;  the sort of ride that appeals to bikers as it tests their skill and endurance.

Midelt

This windswept town in the Middle Atlas appears in a backdrop of almost desolation, on a plateau at some 4,900ft (1500m).  It lies in the Middle Atlas and houses a population of around 16,000 inhabitants.  Needless to say, the French also had a garrison here although nothing of this remains today.  By the time we reached it we were glad to arrive at our hotel.  The gruelling ride had taken it’s toll.  Our energy levels were screaming in protest. We had worked so hard to earn a welcome rest.

Naomi Flashman

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