Atlas Marokko

High Atlas, Marocco

Through the High Atlas

published 08. Feb. 2018 | categories africa - marocco

The description of Nothing

How do I describe something that is not there. I ask myself this question several times during the journey through the High Atlas. Because nothing welcomes me here. Landscapes of further reducedness. Mountains without vegetation. Lands of stones.

From civilization

We leave Marrakech after a short night, in which the magic of this oriental city can not yet skip. The stay is too short. On the way to the bike rental company but shows the potential of this place and makes the anticipation of a reunion big. I’m in a group of about 20 people on a bike ride through the Atlas to the edge of the Sahara and a tour through the Anti Atlas back to Marrakech. A round of about six hundred kilometers, which we should create with the support of transport vehicles in a week.

On the bike

After an endless fitting of the bikes, all necessary adjustments and short test drives in the side lane, the tour starts. And the quality of the borrowed wheels quickly become apparent. Of 21 gears only ten are usable. Excellent chances to drive through the Atlas. But after the day has already changed in the afternoon, we are finally happy to be able to live out our thirst for action on the bike. The different performance levels of the individual participants quickly become apparent. Right at the first slope the field splits into winners and losers. And this will continue through the week. Thus, we come in our planning time or time in distress and at night. Bad? Not at all, you can shoot a photo without time pressure at one point or another.

Mountains, gorges, reduction

The mountains are not been bicycled up. The support vehicles help here. Once at the top, a steel-blue sky awaits us, endless mountain ranges, all the browns and reds of the earth and the great simplicity of the High Atlas. And it is precisely this reduced nature of landscapes that can be perfectly transformed into monochrome images. And thus nothing receives its contours. And his description.

The days on the way to the desert change then surprisingly. After the descents on the southern ridges of the High Atlas we reach Tinghir in the Todra gorge. Huge, vertical cliffs provide a playground for climbers. Next in the direction of Erfoud then shows a first taste of the desert. Here in the dusty nothing life takes place underground. In huge underground labyrinths the water from the High Atlas is caught. The plain is speckled with simple entrances that protrude like pimples on the surface.

And with these impressions of the first days, we are sent to the desert to experience yet another level of nothingness.

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