In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.


Valle de Ourika – High Atlas

Filed under: — Mike Chapman @ 7:43 pm

Marrakech – Setti Fatma – Tahanaoute – Marrakech 130 Km

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Marrakech in February has mountains to the south that are covered in snow – the High Atlas. That was irresistible to a man with who has bought his bicycle with him and has escorted two ladies around the town for a few days.

The photographs

Forty kilometres of gentle uphill in the early morning was fun as all the children were cycling to school and there were a lot of little motor bikes loaded up with produce from the fields and not going much faster than I was. And then everything changed, as I reached the hills, there were women everywhere wearing bright clothes and working outside.

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I saw terracing and villages on the tops of the hills I cycled along a fast flowing river of melt water. It was the full mountain experience.

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I followed this for 20 kilometres uphill until I came to the end of the road. There were a lot of pack-horses ready for people wanting to reach the waterfalls and I was pestered.

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They did not seem to understand that I did not want to put my bike on a mule and go up the mountain! I turned around descended and took a fantastic road to Tahanaoute a lot of hills but fantastic views of the High Atlas. On the route back to Marrakech I passed a tent with some men feeding camels. I offered money for a photograph they offered me Moroccan whiskey.


I took the photograph and declined the whiskey. I met a group of Moroccans on racing bikes close to Marrakech. They were tired and I kept up with them for a few Kilometres. A Great day.

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