I get up very early. It worth watching the sunrise from the hotel terrace. Gradually sunlight is illuminating the palm forest below. I do the same pictures I did three years ago from this same place, it's beautiful. It's amazing the change that occurs between absolute dryness and intense green when there is water, the river is like a green snake which extends beyond my sight. People are working in their green gardens and loading small trailers pulled by their Mobylettes.
My colleagues woke up and we started the breakfast from this privileged high point that is our hotel.
During breakfast and also for dinner yesterday, I explained how much I liked ride solo, having more time to take pictures and see the place. I try to do it without looking like I'm not having fun with them ... I do not need a lot of explaining, they understand perfectly, they had this feeling as well. We quickly agreed that we have to take advantage of these two new stages for us to see new landscapes and make lots of pictures. The advantage over previous stages is that there are many roads so we can provide alternatives if we need to cut the track. Our fear is that we are told that most tracks in the area that we visit are now paved. What is progress for the Moroccans for us is a mess ...
As each day at 8:00 we started. We left Tata by road, we ride slower than in previous days. The day is beautiful, the ideal temperature ... I’m distracted looking at the strange shapes of the mountains and didn’t realize that Enric had slowed adjusting their GPS, I didn’t hit him but it was close… we mustn’t be distracted even for a moment!.
As usual people wave us passing through the villages, especially children who come running at us, we must be careful as sometimes they come too close to the bike. Finally the asphalt ends and began to climb, the shapes of the mountains are amazing, every moment would stop to take pictures, the I couldn’t stop the GoPro ... we go down and get into the bed of a river, they are building a road, possibly when we come back here this track will be paved. The vertical walls surrounding the track are impressive.
We began to find small villages tucked into the canyon. Where there is water there is life. Suddenly we find a bulldozer in the middle of the track, but aside to let us pass we find a pile of rocks where they are working, here do not bother to leave an alternative, if you like to pass ok.. if not ... is your problem!
At the end of the work zone, a huge palm forest appears in the canyon formed by the river, the houses are perched on the hillside and the track runs right through the middle of the palms: we are in Aguinane.
We do some pictures to our sponsors: Rev'it, Ausió, Yamalube, Galfer and Giant Loop. Many thanks to all!!
At the end of the village, the track climbs up the mountain doing some incredible turns, the view from the top is beautiful. Soon they will have a road but for now it takes several hours of mountain trails to get there.
At the top, the landscape changes completely, we change the river canyon to high mountain plains, immense. In winter must be very cold, in fact the temperature has cooled a lot ... a wet fog appears and it starts raining.
We arrived at a small village where the trail ends. We are cold and stopped for a tea. We are the centre of attention. At the bar we ask how is the track to Ouarzazate. They say in winter the snow and water have destroyed the track, the pass thru te mountains is very dangerous, so we must turn back to find a paved road... yuk!. The Transibéricos don’t turn back… and less to take a paved road!! We decided to continue up despite the advice. They look us with a face to not understand anything and make us an international sign with his index finger to his head... yeah, we're crazy!
After a short while, as they have said, the track disappears into a riverbed. We cross it several times without too much trouble but it forces us to go slow. The journey has been so nice that we had frequent stops to take photos and we are going very late, if we continue at this rhythm we are going to finish at night.
I like a lot this series of pictures David did:
The track climbs steadily and suddenly we find the last thing we needed on this trip: snow!!. Ideal for a little more dramatic chronicle and have a good pictures album but is getting darker and do this track by night will not be fun ... we help us to cross the mud and snow to avoid at all costs a fall or a break... also we feel tired... so if this continues like this we will have a hard time ...
The scenery is spectacular, high mountain, no signs of humans, we reached 2500 meters, pity is foggy and visibility is poor. Suddenly the sky opens and we see the tops of the mountains, amazing!!.
It's almost night, luckily we got to the road just in time. It's cold, we stop at a petrol station to put some more clothes and call the hotel we are late. No problem, they expect us and give us dinner ... good people.
We arrived at 11 pm, exhausted but it was worth it, I think is the most beautiful stage I've ever done, the Atlas has exceeded my expectations.
The last surprise was the hotel room: a nice little cave: