Himalayan in Morocco: High Atlas

Himalayan Index Page

Has it really only been six days in Morocco? Seems like ages.
A few photos from the ride so far.

Balleria: €83 open-return at the counter.

Nice boat mister.

Gibraltar: Rule Brexannia!

Big advs as far as the eye can see. And a chimney stork.

Pointy bridge – no stork nests on there.

Bell Moto III + Qwik-Strap. Good combo on the non-ballistic Him.

In to the hills.

Windy and 6°C.

Popcorn and peanuts for lunch + a tub of Vache for emergencies.

Anergui – always wanted to visit.

Mule bridge.

Up the Assif to MH18. Easy enough if not too wide.

Follow the river.

Two mules on a bridge.

No way through to Taghia they say. Fair enough.

2900m – highest sealed road in Morocco. Probably.

Ait Bou’ valley.

Overpriced kasbah. You live and learn.

That centre stand needs bending before it gets bent.

Low route to Demnate. Glad to have the grippy Michelin Wilds.

Old Bedford AWD – an Enfield among lorries.

Back in the clouds on the Demnate crossing trying to outrun a forecast downpour.

Never ask a duck for directions.

Himalayan just laps it up.

I appear to have soiled myself.

Young Berber ninja patrol.

Back down to Skoura.

Your classic Moroccan lunch.

Goat in a crate + some seasoning.

Leatherman sugar breaker.

Midday at the oasis. Boots nearly dry now.


Next – a couple of day trips back into the hills, then down to the Sahara for some desert biking.

11 thoughts on “Himalayan in Morocco: High Atlas

  1. Pingback: Morocco Overland: Route MH20 | Sahara Overland

  2. joao

    Hi Chris
    Thanks for sharing your trip.
    I’m planning a trip with a friend on old wr400 and drz400e. We will travel light and go as much offroad as possible. Can you suggest us a few roads / areas in the high Atlas to go? We will only do the Atlas , not going to the desert this time, And we are going in Easter next year.
    Thanks in advance!


    1. Chris S Post author

      Hi Joao, compared to the desert, the pistes in the mountains are relatively short, joining sections of road between villages. It may also be cold around Easter, as it was this year for me, so be prepared.
      Between Tizi n Test and Cirque de Jaffar in the east there are many many possibilities. Better to study my Morocco guidebook along with a good digital map.(and don’t forget my updates page).
      You will also need to carefully calculate where the lodgings and fuel are. Have a great trip!


      1. joao

        Thanks Chris
        We are on a budget, so no large gas tanks, I’m hoping to find fuel on the villages. Last time I was there I bought some from a barrel, Hoping its a common practice, Taking a filter for those refills. Thrusting the good luck :)
        As for the sleeping, we take tents.
        Thanks for the weather tip. I was thinking about entering the Atlas in Midelt and then going south west. No end goal, just having fun.
        Goocle maps cant find Cirque de Jaffar, but I’ll keep in mind Tizi n Test (maybe we can reach it!)
        Thanks again


        1. Chris S Post author

          Funny you should mention village fuel. I am beginning to realise that where there are cars in a remote village there is always the chance of informal fuel, and not at a crazy price either – maybe 10-20% more. In most places I saw it was all in bottles from drums and was pretty clean.
          Cirque de Jaffar is just out of Midelt, (MH21 in the book) and all over Google. See the High Atlas cycling video mentioned on my twitter recently. It may give you some ideas.


  3. Jonathan Bentman

    Great photos and super-witty captions. Inspired work as always, Chris. Love your stuff. Hey, three Himalayans joined us at the Kielder 500 at the weekend, and they each went really well; again sitting shoulder to shoulder with ATs, GSs and all, but popping along the trails very comfortably. Maybe not so comfortable for the 450 mile motorway ride home, but if you’ve got the time they look the ideal ride. Like Radio 4 BH’s ‘slow radio’ – they have their place in this too-stupid too-hectic world. Must catch up with you soon Chris. All the very best, JB.


      1. Jonathan Bentman

        Hi Chris, yeah, the V-Strom 650XT. Perfect for it as it ate the motorways easily (85mph, just under 60mpg) while being a doddle on the easy trails in Kielder. Took a scenic route through the Yorkshire Dales – stunning place. V-Strom’s limitation is it just doesn’t have the suspension to take big bumps at speed, nor the ground clearance. Love the engine, though, and the ergos are fine. It is heavy though, wouldn’t fancy it so much in deep sand! Much anticipating the arrival of the Tenere 700…


        1. Chris S Post author

          Me too (wrt: T7).
          Like my XSR, but proper.
          Never quite managed to buy a V-Strom. Great motor but seems a bit long and low. Staggered by the size of bikes out here.


  4. Paul K Ash

    Very nice, Chris. You have just convinced me to stop f…… around with old Triumph Tigers and XRV 750s on Gumtree and actually buy, own and love the Himalayan I road tested a few weeks back.


    1. Chris S Post author

      Good to hear Paul. Hope you enjoy yours like I am mine at the moment.
      Just remember: up hill, at elevation and into a howling headwind you may be down to 45-50 in 4th.
      The thing is – does it matter? On a European autobahn cruise with the Mrs – probably.
      On the backroads and gravel roads of the world – not so much.




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