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Thurs: Tizi Mlil old road (47km, 900m of ascent)

Another very good ride.
We rode first to Oumesnat, a pleasant unspoilt village whose maison traditionelle is said to be worth a visit, and also said to have guest rooms. We skipped the visit and set off on the climb back up to Tizi Mlil. We thought we could see the old road trending above us, but weren’t sure how to reach it.

A lot of effort must have gone into building the old road. It sweeps round en corniche, supported by a retaining wall for several miles. It is this retaining wall which we could see. The old road was never tarmacked, and since the new road has been built it has not been maintained. It is no longer passable by motor vehicles, and seems to carry nothing heavier than a few donkeys. It has rather the feel of a mining tramway in Wales, but on a larger scale.

We asked directions at the café.

1. earthen track

2. disused connecting track

3. short cut.

In fact the old road starts right at the top of the pass, but its beginning was obscured by an earthen track people were making for some purpose. In future years things may look rather different. There is a connecting track between old and new roads a little lower down, but it probably isn’t usable.

Once we were on the road there was no difficulty following it. It coasts round the hillside losing height slowly. At a crossroads in the valley it meets 2 other pistes in better condition and continues straight on. It passes a turning to Tarhzout and then enters a region of weird rocks, often sculpted by the weather into unusual shapes.

Eventually it joins the Izerbi road at Agard Oudad. To find the route in the opposite direction look for the white concrete slab signpost written in Arabic script at the southern end of the village.

Old road


Old road

We returned to Tafraoute for a late lunch, and amused ourselves in the afternoon by climbing the hill adjacent to the Amandiers – a pleasant easy scramble with a walk-off at the back.

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