Snow in the High Atlas Mountains

It’s been an interesting week, we’ve had rain, a sand storm, incredibly strong winds, and now the last two days in the snow!

hard to believe we were in sand dunes two days ago!

Yesterday we’d planned to ride back north via a similar path we came south on, but right at the top of the High Atlas range we passed a town overflowing with taxis and mini vans, which usually means the road is blocked ahead, and this was no exception.

The long way around took us about 100km out of our way, and landed us into a little known town last night, where 2 of the 4 hotels were full, and the other two were hell holes even by our lowly standards.

we’ve been colder before, but not by much!

The worst one was not really a functioning hotel, the ground floor was a long abandoned renovation site, with walls broken and exposed wiring and bits of rubble and wood debris everywhere, the tiny  rooms had really small single beds too short for adults to stretch out in, and there was no water in the bathroom (which incidentally was on the roof).

Of course we wound up in that one – it had somewhere to park the bike! But only after I asked three times if they actually had hot water.  After a day at between 0 and 9 degress you really want a hot shower!  The manager promised me he did, but when we went out for dinner we saw him in the construction site (reception) arguing with another guy over a gas bottle… not a good sign.

it looks a bit like Siberia up here

Later on he softly knocked on the door and then ran away, but I opened faster than he’d hoped and called him back.  He explained that there was a problem, and there was no water.  Shock!!  I suggested that he should compromise on the price as a result and he refunded me 15 dihrams out of the original 60 ($6).

He did bring us extra blankets though as it was bloody cold last night – always entertaining watching Sal try to sleep without actually touching the fetid blankets 🙂

we passed this lake that was almost totally frozen over

Never mind, I went to bed half dressed and rolled out of bed straight back into my riding suit for today’s final 250km in the mountains.

We’re not really prepared for such low temperatures on the bike, and even wearing everything we have, we still suffer on cold days.  We stop now and then to restore feeling in our hands, and are praying continuously for rain to hold off, and the mountains to end.

lucky for us, our detour had just been snow ploughed the afternoon before!

We were lucky today and just beat the stormy weather into a city called Mekes, and are holed up in a lovely little room with a steaming hot shower 🙂  More rain is forecast for tomorrow so we may take a down day before the last day of riding back to Algericas for the ferry to Spain.

Love to all xoxo




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