December 23, 2009 Tahannout, Marrakech, Morocco

First day on Tizi-n-Test

by Christian , published on December 23, 2009

distance: 53.62km
duration: 9h 54min

We finally started travelling by bike towards the Atlas Mountains, it took a while to leave the flat surroundings of Marrakech and reach Tahannaout at the foots of the mountains, but we where rewarded with one of the best Tajine of the whole journey.

After Tahannaout the road got steeper and we entered the gorge leading to Tizi-n-Test. Weather was not on our side and the white-greyish sky neither lifted our minds nor provided good light for photography.
It was already close to dawn when we approached Asni, we had already been looking for a place to pitch our tent along the road but we still needed to buy food. There was a local vegetable/farmers market and we took the opportunity to buy a bunch of huge carots, potatoes and onions for a mere 70 (Euro-)Cent. We declined the live chicken however.
Unfortunately we also had to fight of two annoying guys who desperately wanted to sell us their "beautiful" silver jewelry, presenting it with sparking eyes as if the bracelets where right out of Ali Babas cave, expecting us to be all ecstatic about the fine and "no where else to be found" treasure they where offering us.

Shortly after Asni we left the main road and went a few hundred meteres up a dirt-road which promised a secluded and quiet ground for our tent, which we eventually found. Later at night it turned out not to be the most protected place unfortunately.
We went to sleep early at around 9pm as we wanted to get up at dawn to profit as much as possible of the short daylight. It had begun to rain which i like very much at night, it feels cuddly and assuring to me.
After barely having fallen asleep, the rain stopped and a strong wind started to blow. The noise kept us wide awake and the wind turned into a storm, forcing me to go outside regularly to check if the pegs where still anchored safely to the muddy ground. The immense noise, frustration of not beeing able to sleep and the fear of a tent going airborne provided for the scariest and worst outdoor-night i had so far.
Very late, at around 5 o'clock, the night had already turned into the dark-grey morning-mush, the weather gods finally had mercy on us and we where allowed to get some sleep, but the idea of a full nights rest and an early start where gone with the wind.