The guide-book says that this stage which we called a cycling to Imilchil is one of the most difficult. It starts with 1.000 meters ascending during 10 kms and then another 70 kms with two mountain passes. We started early in the morning. It was still a night. We were pedaling very easy not to tire our legs too quick. The sun was rising, the air was fresh and everything was in calm and peaceful. The village disappeared in the valley and our eyes were searching the end of the ascent but it was still too early. We took it easy, doing some photos and rest.
When we got up, we were fine and not too much tired as knew there is still a long way to go. We cycled some time along the green plains before to start 15 km long descent finishing in a village called Tasraft. They say about this village that the kids always try to steal something from our baggage. When we got to the village, the streets were full of people. It was a market day. We stopped for a while. Immediately there were tens of kids around us. We better kept on descending, leaving the village, the pressure and rush of the habitants behind.
We saw a few lonely cottages along the road. There was a little girl standing in front of one of them. We stopped to give her some pencil or stuff like that. The house was up on the hill about 50 meters away from the road. We called the kid to come down and get the gifts. Suddenly another girl about 16-year-old appeared and came down to see what is happening. She wore a dirty clothing but she was pretty and one could still see in her eyes the youth that she perhaps is not going to be able to enjoy much because of a hard life here. I just imagined any 16 year old girl in my town with her mobile in her hand wearing perfect cloth and bored all the time.
NOW COMES AN UNEXPECTED SNACK
So, the girl invited us for a cup of tea. At least that is what we understood. She told us to wait on the road and she left for neighbor’s house. After ten minutes when nobody appeared, we decided to continue our adventure. But when we got on our bikes, the girl appeared wearing hot ashes to set fire in her house and she stopped us again not to leave. It did not take much time and the girl brought a small carpet which she put right of the floor of the road, table with tee, butter and bread. We felt like in a dream. After some time enjoying this delicious food, a group of bikers was approaching. They were like six or seven Italian guys with a local guide and two 4×4 behind to carry all their luggage. The bikers did not believe their eyes when they saw us lying on the road and eating local food in a local style. They even took a photo of us. We finished our meal and we wanted to pay for it but the girl did not accept money. We gave them another gifts and we left full of emotios…
There was still a lot of cycling to Imilchil this day, up&down and again. We realized leaving green valleys of Atlas and entering to the dry and hot part of Atlas. Before the last ascent we saw the Italian bikers mounting their bikes in 4×4 to ascent all of them in a car!!
Sunset led us to Imilchil. We passed through the village and stopped at the last bar Auberge Almou ordering a pot of tea. We were tired, our heads were kind of blown away because of the wind but we were happy and satisfied, because we knew that the most complicated part is done and the adventure is getting closer to its end. The owner of the refuge was friendly so we asked for a room to pass the night.