Morocco (May-June 2016): 3. From Ijoukak to Amegrhas

banner

Return to main Morocco 2016 webpage

 

Topographic and Google Earth maps of this section of the trek. Click here and here to see the complete full-resolution 100K topographic maps Tizi-n-Test″ and ″Amezmiz that cover this section of the trek. Click here (.kmz file) to access all the waypoints and placemarks in Google Earth. (Reminder: the green dots/markers are campsites.)

 

topo-stage-3-annotated copy

earth-stage-3 copy

 

From Ijoukak, we first crossed Oued-n-Nfis (on a precarious bridge with many holes). We then headed west, hiking along the northern bank of the river to avoid the busy road on its southern side.

DSC08672

DSC08674

 

DSC08676

 

Ruins of an old palace on the river side.

DSC08681

 

DSC08680

 

Kasbah Agadir-n-Gouf.

DSC08688

 

Typical Muslim cemetery.

DSC08695

 

The Tinmel (also spelled Tin Mal) mosque built in the 12th century. It has been partially renovated, but it is still roofless.

DSC08697

 

DSC08712

 

DSC08705 

 

 

 

DSC08701

DSC08710

 

 DSC08708

DSC08711

DSC08719

 

Village of Aghane located west of the Tinmel mosque, surrounded by olive trees. After this village, we left the valley of Oued-n-Nfis (on the left) and headed into the valley on the right (Assif-n-Ougdemt).

DSC08700

 

Other villages at the entrance of the Assif-n-Ougdemt valley.

DSC08723

 

Up to the village of Ighil we followed the riverbed of Assif-n-Ougdemt. Absence of trail and recent flood damages (fallen trees) made the hike quite strenuous.

DSC08726

 

We set a camp a short distance after the village of Ighil (WP 09-07). On the next morning we followed Assif-n-Ougdemt for a couple of kilometers more before heading north toward Tizi-n-Oudiff. We passed by several pretty villages.

DSC08729

 

DSC08732

 

DSC08734

 

DSC08742

 

DSC08757

 

Higher up in the narrow valley leading to Tizi-n-Ouddif.

DSC08758

DSC08764

 

DSC08779

 

View of Jebel Erdouz (3579m) located further west.

DSC08744

 

Intense sunlight reflection on shiny stones.

DSC08767

 

Azib, sheep and goats.

DSC08773

DSC08776

 

We set a camp on a small terrace (WP 10-06), just below Tizi-n-Ouddif.

DSC08790

DSC08787

 

On the next morning we reached Tizi-n-Ouddif (WP 11-01) at 2741m. Here is a view from the pass toward the north over the Assif-n-Anougal valley.

DSC08802

 

While the mule went directly to the village of Tizga in the valley (WP 11-08), Oumar and I ascended Jebel Gourza. We first hiked along the ridge connecting Tizi-n-Ouddif to Tizi-n-Imitl. Both the Gourza summit and Tizi-n-Imitl are visible in this photo.

DSC08799

 

Along the way we saw several such low stone walls with a small opening in the middle. These are traps aimed at capturing rabbits.

DSC08795

DSC08811

 

View from the ridge toward the north-west.

DSC08807

 

View toward the north with Adra Tadafelt in the background.

DSC08808

 

Reaching Tizi-n-Imitl (2855m, WP 11-03).

DSC08817

 

Looking back toward Tizi-n-Ouddif and Tizi-n-Imitl during the ascent of Jebel Gourza.

DSC08825

 

The Gourza summit (3280m) offers an impressive 360dg panorama over the surrounding mountains:

 

- toward the north-east (Adrar-n-Oukaimeden),

DSC08834

 

- toward the east (Ouanoukrim),

DSC08835

 

- toward the south (Adrar Tadafelt),

DSC08832

 

- toward the north-west (valley of Assif-n-Anougal),

DSC08837

 

- and toward the north (Jebels Fernissou and Tighardine). This last view gave us a preview of the itinerary that we will follow during the next couple of days (see next annotated photo).

DSC08836

 

route-fernissou

 

From the summit we returned to Tizi-n-Imitl and then started our descent into the valley of Assif-n-Anougal.

DSC08850

 

View of Tizi-n-Ouddif during the descent.

DSC08847

 

Small village above a waterfall.

DSC08856

 

Reaching the village named Tizga on the topographic map and called Taska by local people, below which we set a camp (WP 11-08) under large walnut trees.

DSC08866 - Copy

 

On the next day we hiked down the valley of Assif-n-Anougal for about 5km and then shifted into a smaller side-valley toward the village of Ourmer.

 

Looking back toward the valley of Assif-n-Anougal soon after entering the valley of Ourmer.

DSC08873

 

Small hamlet in the valley of Ourmer.

DSC08868

 

Carpets drying on a roof in the village of Ourmer.

DSC08876

 

Jebel Gourza seen from Ourmer.

DSC08879

 

In Ourmer we started the ascent of Jebel Fernissou. This is a view of the peaks dominating the green valleys of Assif-n-Anougal and Ourmer.

DSC08887

 

Another view of Jebel Gourza from higher up on Jebel Fernissou.

DSC08888

 

Dwarf palm trees along the way.

DSC08890

 

View over the large village of Imi-n-Tala (in the valley of Assif-n-Anougal), from the ridge of Jebel Fernissou.

DSC08892

 

Yet another view of Jebel Gourza.

DSC08897

 

Looking back toward red Jebel Fernissou as we were switching toward Jebel Tighardine.

DSC08898

 

View toward Ouanoukrim.

DSC08907

 

Jebel Gourza (center-left) and Tizi-n-Ouddif (center-right) in the background.

DSC08909

 

Pretty village and its terraced fields nested in a small circular bowl.

DSC08910

 

Evening view over the much greener northern slope of Jebel Tighardine, with the northern plain of Marrakesh in the background.

DSC08912

 

Sunrise seen from my tent at our campsite on Jebel Tighardine (WP 12-09).

DSC08917

 

On the ridge of Jebel Tighardine.

DSC08930

 

Looking back (toward the west) at a portion of the ridge that we had hiked on the previous day.

DSC08923

 

Now, looking forward (toward the west), there is more to go!

DSC08935

 

View over the northern plain.

DSC08931

 

DSC08932

 

Last picture of Jebel Gourza and Tizi-n-Ouddif.

DSC08942

 

We finally started our descent from Jebel Tighardine toward Ameghras.

 

Azibs, terraced fields, and unusual circular platform. The latter is probably used for ceremonials with ancient (pre-islamist) Berber roots.

DSC08948

DSC08947

 

More azibs further down.

DSC08954

 

Looking back at the ridge of Jebel Tighardine. Our previous camp (WP 12-09) was located besides the small dark green patch (pine trees) below a rocky cone on the far right of the picture.

DSC08959

 

Field of white flowers.

DSC08967

 

Looking down toward the first villages in the northern plain.

DSC08979

 

Here is Ameghras, the terminus of our trek.

DSC08978

 

We set of final camp (WP 13-07) on a ridge above the plain. Here is Mohamed‛s mule at sunset.

DSC08993

 

We were close to Ameghras, but we had plenty of time. So, we walked along a convoluted path in and around the valley of Assif-n-Tizgui. Here, is a view of the village of Tizgui (WP 14-02).

DSC09003

 

Another view of the village from the other side of the valley.

DSC09016

 

Old isolated and abandoned house above the valley.

DSC09019

DSC09022

 

Small field of red poppies before reaching Ameghras.

DSC09025

 

We arrived in Amghras in the early afternoon. After a pleasant lunch on the terrace of the gite ″Chez Rachid″ we said goodbye to Mohamed, who returned to his home village located slightly up in the valley. Oumar and I spent the night at the gite and drove to Marrakesh on the next day.

 

banner

Return to main Morocco 2016 webpage