1600 Kilometer Marokko – mit dem Fahrrad durch Nordafrika – Teil 3/4: Wettlauf über den Atlas

1600 kilometers Morocco two bicycles – 19 days – through the dessert – crossing the Atlas Mountains twice – along the Atlantic coast I’m leaving the lowlands now. Therefore we separate right now. I think I have my seventh or eighth flat now. part 3: Race over the Atlas What a morning! At what altitude did we start? From 800 to just under 1600 in 18 kilometers. I’m pretty tired. Mee too. I really long for a coke. Me too. Who is there first gives a Coke! There are two routes from Agdz to Ouzoud and we could not decide which one to take. That’s why we separate here now. Micha takes the shorter way with a total of 290 kilometers and he has to make 5900 vertical meters. My way is a little longer. I go 341 kilometers and have to make 6000 altitude difference. But my track is probably a little better developed. I will have slightly better infrastructure. Mine me it is more remote and there are fewer villages. But I hope I also have more beautiful landscapes. And less traffic probably with you. Yes, much less traffic and more peace. With me, a lot of traffic will come over from Marrakesh. And there are many construction sites there. The road is somehow damaged there. We’ll see. And we’ll meet in Talant in two days. Any little hicktown. Let’s see if we find each other. I am confident. And then we’ll see who has the better way. Last preperation. A good mix: orange juice with water. I have also bottled some salt. Did you close the box again? I think so. Ok, have a good trip! I wish you the same. Have fun and hopefully not too much traffic. Let’s see that everything is fine. And then we’ll meet again in one or two days. Well, rather in two. Take care! – Take care! It is wonderful weather. Over there is the atlas. The road is beautiful, I’m alone all the time, you do not see any cars. Unfortunately it will not stay that way for long, but I’m confident. Over there it is a bit cloudy. Hi! I left Nico a quarter of an hour ago. We are going separate ways now over the Atlas. And it starts off well with me. I got a really good road, have little headwind little traffic and the mountains look really great in the distance. Now I’m curious how it goes on there. The road is great! Weather is beautiful. Only the traffic bothers me a bit already. At the moment it is quiet, but here passes quite a lot. Even huge things like that. There, the clouds hang quite low in the mountains. I do not know exactly yet where I have to pass. but if the weather stays as it is now and today, that would of course be an absolute stroke of luck. Maybe I can even catch up the 50 kilometers I have to cycle more than MIcha. Well, we’ll see. It is getting serious. I’m leaving the lowlands now and i’m cycling straight to the north towards the Atlas in the high mountains and have at least to make 120 kilometers. So it will be no picnic. It’s getting tough. Es wird heiß. And then let’s see if everything goes well. I did not feel so good this afternoon. I have a little upset stomach. I had to take a break then. But in the meantime I think it’s going better. Tomorrow I will sleep in and then see. I am very excited. I am now near Gassat, just before the Atlas Mountains. The first serpentines start behind me. Despite my not-so-fit condition today, I still dragged myself from Quarzazate almost 30 to 40 kilometers to here and have a really good base for tomorrow I felt like shit before. I am totally exhausted and have tormented myself here. My campground is a bit remote from the road and over this hill, which was also tedious. Right now it seems to be better again. Now I’m curious. I’ll go to bed right now. Maybe sleep a little longer tomorrow – maybe an hour or two. And then I’ll see if I’m fit tomorrow. I think so. If not, I have to seriously consider cycling or hitchhiking all the way back to Quarzazate and then take the bus to Marrakesh or Casablanca and actually quit the tour. But I do not assume. So right now it’s quite good. I had an upset stomach today. Then I was a little hot for a while. Also a little headache. I’m optimistic right now. Now I arrived here and set up the tent and I feel fine. I’m not really hungry yet. So I can eat but, well … That’s actually perfect for camping here. The only problem is, if it rains what i do not think but if it rains the water runs right in here. Maybe I’ll see what’s over there first. This is my campside for the night. It looks pretty nice. It’s just a bit close to the road, right here. But i have solid ground without stones. It is reasonably visible. and I’ll be back on track tomorrow. And I hope I will not get a flat if I go out of here. Some spikes are lying around on the ground here but actually the bike can be carried up there quite well. So, I’ll prepare something to eat. It’s totally windy out there, but I’m not really high up. You also hear the street quite loud. Well, I’ll try to sleep now. Tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. the alarm rings. Then it is still pitch dark, but I would like to start as soon as possible hoping i make it over the atlas until the evening. If that works? We’ll see. Good night! This fucking air mattress! Fuck! Such a scrap! It’s early in the morning, shortly after getting up. I have a flat again. That was probably one of these thistles again and they pierce right through, that’s like steel. That’s razor sharp. Even the best tire surrenders. Now I have to mend again, early in the morning. It is slightly windy but weather is good. Still a bit fresh, actually I wanted to use that to make a few miles early in the morning, before the sun comes out and it gets unbearably hot. Now I have to fix the tube first. Since the day starts well. I actually started well this morning. It’s pretty cold and I’m still sweating but it goes very well. However, I have just received a text message from two Swiss guys we met yesterday and who wanted to drive the other route. They wrote me that it is not suitable for cycling at all because it’s is very rocky and because there are no utilities there. Now I’m a bit worried how Micha is going. I hope he does not get any problems. But now I can not do anything. So, i’ll go on in the sunrise and freeze and sweat a bit more. distance: 1025 km, vertical meters: 1450 I am now standing here in the Atlas Mountains on more than 2000 meters in altitude. It would have to be just under 2200. It is the highest point of the tour. And the distance view is just breathtaking. Unfortunately, I had to push the bike much of the way because I still do not feel so well. The weather can not be better. Ich bin jetzt auf 1963 Höhenmeter. I will reach a maximum of 2225, which does not mean that I’m already over and it’s downhill again. I just arrived at the beginning of the middle part of the mountain. So it’s still a long way through the mountains. And the road is great. Cycling is great. It’s beautiful. Now it’s fucking windy here. It’s nearly gonna blow off my cap. And it gets cold, too. distance: 1080 km, vertical meters: 2200 I am at the highest point. Here begins the construction site, which is supposed to be around 50 kilometers long and it’s pretty dusty and disgusting. I’m going downhill again. The roads are very bad, often washed out by the rain and the asphalt surface is broken. The roads are very steep. But it is very welcome to go downhill again. I agonised myself uphill all morning and now it’s finally down again. There is even water here. Really good. This is the second time this day that I reach the 2000 altitude difference. The first time was this morning after 30 kilometers. and now again after 62 kilometers. This is really exhausting. It is always uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill. Awful! But… really you are compensated with this magnificent view. I really did it. I crossed the atlas Back there begins the plain. I cycled almost 92 kilometers. I’m completely done and I’ll have to search for a campground right now. Just a second… Nico is just writing. Let’s see what he does. I think I’ll be done soon. It’s over there. The mountains end abruptly. Then it will be flat again. Now I just have to go up a bit and go along the Serpenines over there. distance: 1120 km, vertical meters: 1310 I think that’s the most beautiful road I’ve been on so far. It’s like a bike path, almost no traffic, totally beautiful scenery. about 2 kilometers as the crow flies south of Sidi Rahal This is my campground for tonight. I just met the mayor. He passed by over there on the street and he said I should definitely sleep in the city because it was dangerous here. In the city it was no problem. But in the city there is no hotel and I will definitely not put the tent on the road as he recommended it to me. Acutally it is beautiful here again. Around me a beautiful landscape and even some beautiful, lush green trees. With Micha everything went well He’ll probably be at the meeting place tomorrow, like me. Outstanding! There is some cloud over there. But all in all it looks like great weather. It is absolutely windless and if it is so nice tomorrow, then everything was perfect. about 6 kilometers as the crow flies south of Imi’n’Ifri I cooked couscous with tomato sauce and I’m not hungry at all. But I have to eat something. Otherwise I fall off the bike. I’ll eat that now and see how I’m doing tomorrow. I hope to meet Nico tomorrow in Tanant. I still have about 40 kilometers and so I should be there at around noon. There’s a scorpion. He has just a prey. It is a beautiful morning. The sun is just rising. There are still about 40 kilometers to the meeting point. I am very curious who will be there first. Over there it seems a bit cloudy. But with the vision … i would not be surprised to have a cloud somewhere in the sky. Over there I slept somewhere tonight. distance: 1170 km, vertical meters: 1190 I came fully into the morning mist. Suddenly it appeared. But the sun is fighting and apparently it succeeds. Good Morning! It is now shortly before 10 o’clock and I’m close to Tanant where i will probably meet Nico around noon. distance: 1230 km, vertical meters: 880 Hey Micha! I completely underestimated it. I had to cycle 70 kilometers this morning. I first thought in 40 I’m there. I had 40 kilometers. You had 40? Have you already had lunch? Yes, but I’m not feeling so well. Still not? Crap! But you are basically better? I can ride the bike, but not very fast. I have to do it slowly. I can already eat. This is how it continues We are in Ouzoud. For me, the vacation is almost gone. but I will not give up until Casablanca Nothing but empty fields as far as the eye can see. There are dead animals everywhere, carcasses. If that does not get better soon, we’ll have to stop the tour. For 150 kilometers always straight ahead, straight ahead, straight ahead, straight ahead. soaking wet You had to fight against gale-force gusts. Azemour, this is our last stop before we continue the day after tomorrow to Casablanca.

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