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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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  #1  
Old 16 Oct 2009
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High Atlas query

Hello has anyone visited the Ait Bougoumez valley? I was planning to go up there next week on a hired trailie and had a few questions, What is the availability of petrol in the valley itself? Has anyone tried to exit the valley by going south from El Had over a couple of high cols that lead to Bou Tharar and if so what is the degree of difficulty? Thanks. Nigel
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Old 6 Nov 2009
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Was up in Ait Bougoumes for 3 days last week so can now answer my own queries!! If anyone is thinking of going up there, it is superb - very friendly people and amazing villages. I came in from Imni Ifri just above Demnate. A mixture of tarmac and piste takes you over to Ait Boulli and then into the Ait Bougoumes valley at Agouti ( the main route in from Azilal is probably also v spectacular but is now all tarmac) The route out to the north leading to Zaouia Ahensal is easy piste thru wonderful scenery as is the route on down to Bin el Ouidane reservoir past the huge "la cathedrale" rock formation. The only available petrol in the valley is from jerry cans (opposite the police station) in Tabant - the valleys capital and it's only eyesore! The "piste" marked on some maps leading south to Bou Tharar is, according to locals, only suitable for hikers and mules, though some visitors have attempted part of it on trials bikes. Can thoroughly recommend Flilou gite at southern end of Agouti - simple dorm accomodation for £4, clean, hot showers and friendly, helpful staff.

Last edited by nmowbray; 7 Nov 2009 at 10:10.
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Old 6 Nov 2009
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Sounds great. Am heading to Bikershome in Quarzazate in 2 weeks to do a couple of days riding. Am still looking at various hotels for Marrakech where I'm flying in/out from but not decided on one yet.

Not planning on bringing much with me as gear is supplied with the hire apparently...plus flying with ryanair so planning on only bringing the minimum.

How was the weather, cold/dry? Not sure whether to just do 2 separate day rides from Bikershome or stop the night someplace. Any advice much appreciated!
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Old 7 Nov 2009
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Hi Mike. My reply to the post "First time in Morocco from UK" may be of help to you. I assume you're taking something like a KTM 450 for the 2 days. Starting at Ouarzazate you have loads of great options - I'm sure Peter at Biker's Home will have loads of advice. Ait Benhaddou, just 20 mins up the road is fantastic, definitely worth the trip. My other highlight from that area is Dades/Todra gorges and the link between them - called Gorge-gorge!-is superb piste climbing to 2800m. Check its passable , it wasn't for a while after floods last Oct. or at least it was difficult. The dunes at Merzouga are another highlight but 200+ miles beyond the gorges (on good tarmac) so a bit of a hike in 2 days?? Ait Bou goumez would be feasible in 2 days if you stayed up there 1 night. Weather last week 80+ so T-shirt riding even at 2000m but last year the same week was quite cold and there was floods everywhere (from the previous week) Best to check a 10 day forecast. Hotel Atlas just off Place Djema El Fnaa worth checking out. Have a great trip! Nigel

Last edited by nmowbray; 7 Nov 2009 at 12:19.
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Old 7 Nov 2009
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Hi Mike. Sorry, just realised my first reply to you was a bit misleading on mileages. It's about 70 miles from Ouarzazate up to the foot of the Dades gorge road and about 110 miles from Tinerhir (btm of Todra gorge) to the dunes at Merzouga. It is in fact quite feasible in two days but you might feel you'd wasted a fair bit of precious time (2hrs+ each way from Tinerhir) on what is a boring, non-scenic tarmac road. Bikers Home might advise you on piste alternatives to Merzouga. Cheers. Nigel
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Old 7 Nov 2009
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Thanks Nigel, top info. Will start compiling a list of possible places but Peter is giving me a gps with routes, looking forward to it!
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