mardi 12 décembre 2006

30-10 Marrakech Agouti 280Km Broken tracks

We leave at 8 Am, taking the road to Demnate. Today program is the route F4 and G3 in the last Gandini guide. A sealed road until the hydraulic damming of Ait Adel, then the track start soon. This route is very funny, high tracks with wonderful landscapes, a lot of small mountain villages, deep valleys, an excellent track.

We pass small red Bedford trucks, very old and overloaded with people everywhere. For the passengers sited on the roof the view over the precipice must be impressive, they have to trust the driver.

Public transport with panoramic view

Only one tree on the horizon

Arriving to Denmate, refuelling for the bikes and the bikers, chicken with French fries, mint tea and we start again.

do you think we have to purchase some thing just in case ?

-we have only 100 km to ride it’s only 2 pm, it will be ok “.

We pass at Iroultane, an area with dinosaur footprint, but we don’t see them because I didn’t note it. ( we should return one day ).After a ford, I lose the track on the right hand, mistake quickly corrected thanks to the GPS.
Once again we ride on a nice mountain track, with landscapes and villages really superb.

We arrive to the built ford of Imi n’Ouaqqa noted on the Gandini guide, surprise, the flooding due to the storms , has broken the ford. The step is around 2m. On the opposite bank a young guy riding a donkey is crossing the river, and thus showing us where to cross over.
What are we going to do ?, how is the track further ?. We have already done 50 km from Demnate and normally it stills the same until Agouti our goal. It’s 4 pm, it’s getting dark at 6 pm, lets go we try. Anyway we could return without many problems.

We decide to use the same way used by the donkey ( it’s normal with an Honda 400 XR ). At first we have to cross a gutter built for watering, down a small slope, riding in the river and get over the opposite bank. Patrick goes without many difficulties, right before the eyes of the villagers, I follow.

Crossing over

We are on the oposite bank

Following on the track, we are looking for rock engravings advisable in the guide, they are not easy to see.
At 5 pm we arrive at a pass named Tizi n’Tighiyst, with 2400m high, where there are a lot of rock engravings, this site is very important, we can see engravings everywhere, it’s impressive. Unfortunately, regarding the clock, we must go, people say us we need one hour to Agouti, around 30 km.

The downing track is back-breaking with large flat stones. We cross over several small fords, sometime like ditches because of last rains. In the village Ighir n’Tissent, we take a wrong direction. The villagers give us the rigth direction. We have to cross an other Oued, there is not many water but we can see that the bed has been mixed a lot. After Abachkou the track is wet with a lot of water puddles, and also several green leafs on the ground, storms and wind have been very strong here.

The track is going down in a valley, I can see the Oued in the bottom, on my road book ( done with Gandini guide datas ) I noted “ small bridge “, I become afraid, how is the bridge after the storm ?
Now I can see the bridge, It seems to be normal, I slow down, there is a hole on the left but the access is not a problem with a bike ( not the same with a car). On the oposite bank a woman is making signs meaning “ you cannot pass”. Once crossing, the track is turning left and there………There is a huge rock filling up almost the right part of the track, on the mountain side, and a big hole on the left on the river side, in the middle a small pass. It’s no good. I stop, get out the bike when Patrick arrives, cross the step and takes the small way between the rock and the hole. He stops soon because he gets stuck in the middle. The handlebar and the saddlebag are knocking on the rock, because of his big bag he is not able to get out the bike, he is fighting to avoid falling in the hole. This situation is becoming uncomfortable for him. I climb over the rock and catch the front wheel and hold it, he manages to get out and holds the rear of the bike. We manage to make pass the bike. We know how to do, so we proceed with my bike, easy man.

It's getting dark. Bad picture due to the dark, but to give an idea.

It’s not good but we have to go, the night is here, but on the GPS I can see that Agouti is not so far, 7- 8 km. We are riding on the right hand bank of the oued. The track is divided in two, one track down on the left and an other up. The downing track seems to be more large, the other is looking like a goat way ( in the night ). I take the left, wrong choice, it’s ending in the river. We turn and go back, on the goat way, sandy in the beginning, some channelling, and after ok, my colleague is going ahead.

Once again two solutions. He goes on the right upping track, wrong choice after a short while the track disappears, in the dark. I go by foot to have a look, I guess the track down to the small hill where we are. We turn and go back, it’s ok. Once or twice I don’t remember a large part of the track has been taking away by the flooding oued, but it remains a small way which doesn’t matter with a bike, except the fact this is the night and our lighting is not efficient. We cross a tributary of the main oued, we have two small steps to pass, now the track is going up and is overhanging the oued and moving away from it. Ouf the situation is becoming less tense. I look at the GPS we are almost arrived, then suddenly in the middle of the track a huge rock with mass of fallen earth. Shit we are damned. It remains a pass 40 cm wide, between the rock and the precipice, it pass sitting on the rock, first gear slowly ouf. The track stills going up and suddenly the sealed road, yeehh.

Very happy to find a sealed road, often we tried to avoid it, not yet.On my road book, I have noted “Flilou Berber house in the entry of the village, good address very clean “ We find it immediately. We stop, but it seems to be closed. I go to the entry door, I guess a glow inside, I come in, there is a Candle. “ is there somebody ??”, yes it is, because of the recent storms the electricity is cut, anyway the guest-house is open. It seems we are alone, the boss guides us to a court-yard to park the bikes. In the same time, 4 trekers arrived from Paris. The bed in a dormitory for 4 is 50dh around 5€. Regarding the shower, only cold water, as they say “wallou”. And more, we are going to eat, candles diner, Milk-soup, omelette, tomatoes, apples, tea. While a moment we thought to sleep on the track behind the oued( I’ve got freeze-dried food and cereals in my saddlebag in case ). A young woman comes with his daughter for the diner, she reads the registry book and asks who is living close to Toulouse. She lived less than 10 km from my house. She is here for a wedding and she has had to stay during all the day on the road waiting the be able to cross the flooded river with a bus. A shibani 84 years old told to her, he never saw so much water during all his life.

An excellent day from the morning to the evening, riding 8 hours, great adventure.

‘’ Hé Patrick, on est moulus hein !!!’’.


Gite Flilou