2016 Morocco Motorcycle Winter Ride. Episode 2: Atlas Mountain crossing (Tizi n’Tichka Pass)
After we explored Marrakesh it’s time for our real adventure to start. Today we picked our rented motorcycle and we are headed for Ourzazate. After one hour on the road we can see the snowy High Atlas Mountain on the horizont. Or plan relies on Tizi N’Tichka Pass road contitions If this is closed by snow, we have to turn back. There is no sun and we start to feel the cold as the road gains altitude. Shortly we can see the first winter signs. Before leaving Marrakesh, I asked about road contitions and I was told we should be able to pass the mountains as the last few days where warm enough. We have no backup plan so I hope we can cross Tizi n’Tichka Pass. Our motorcycle tour relies on the next hour. Our motorcycle tour relies on the next hour. At some point we stop for a few pictures with the High Atlas Mountains in the background and we get more clothes, in an attempt to get warm. In this area there are some road works for which concrete is manually made on the spot. Finally we reach the last city before we start the ascent for the Atlas. Our plan seems to be on the right track as the snow barriers are opened. We start our ascent to Tizi n’Tichka road conditions are amazing with what seems to be new tarmac. For we a few moments we forget that we are in Morocco. It really feels and looks like Austrian Alps. The cold gets slowly into our bones as we are not prepared for so low temperatures. As the road gains in altitude we get more and more snow on the side and soon on the road as well. We learn the hard way that winters in Morocco can be cold. For the moment we tend to forget everything and enjoy the view as the Sun starts shining us and gives a false sense of warm. Eventually, we reach Tizi n’Tichka, at 2260m altitude and we stop for a few pictures. We cannot enjoy this place for to long, as there is a cold wind here. We continue our ride down the mountain hoping for warmer places. Descend seems to be harder as the road is more narrow and in a bad shape. This side of the High Atlas Mountain is colder so there’s more snow on the side of the road. We divert from the main road to head to Telouet on a side road to Ourzazarte which should be more spectacular at least from what I learned during my planning. We ask for directions as road conditions And we continue our journey after we refuse an offer 🙂 This road is very narrow and covered in snow in more shadier areas. The view is getting better but the cold is not. It’s the first time I ride on snow which makes me a bit nervous. This road is fantastic to ride though, as there is nearly no traffic. Once we reach Telouet, my GPS-ul gets confuzed and after we try some local roads we get back to the road we entered this town. We take a short brake to try to find the right track, but the GPS keeps routing back on the road we came from. I decide to return and follow the GPS, as we where already tired and almost frozen. Eventually we get to more warmer places. The surroundings are arid, sign that the desert is close. We reach Ourzazarte at the end of this day, where we find a modern, new worm hotel.