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Départ au petit matin d'Ouled Teima

Départ au petit matin d'Ouled Teima

Le soleil se lève sur une fantastique journée. Nous laissons le souk de la cité à notre droite

L'Atlas se rapproche

L'Atlas se rapproche

Ces courbes montagneuses inspirent les Berbères pour réaliser les dessins de leurs tapis

En chemin

En chemin

Village berbère typique, malheureusement jusque dans les sacs en plastique...

Bourg d'Imilmaiss

Bourg d'Imilmaiss

Architecture berbère intacte. Seules quelques antennes paraboliques annoncent la modernité

Agadir du village d'Amassa

Agadir du village d'Amassa

Une banque berbère encore en activité

Village d'Amassa

Village d'Amassa

Il faudrait que cette authenticité subsiste

Champs au fond de la vallée

Champs au fond de la vallée

Un climat idéal pour y planter des pommiers

Tafraout pink granite

Secret Atlas: Great Tour

Don't look for this excursion in a guidebook. The track to be taken, which skirts the mountain in a sometimes vertiginous way, is recent and it is not tarred. There is a faint trace of IMilais on ViaMichelin and since little an indication of the ultimate purpose of this terrific discovery on Google Maps. The American software specifies thatyou reach in 2 hours 20 in the magic Berber city of Amassa. A good day is necessary for this unforgettable journey.

 

This dive into the secret Atlas is part of the desire for responsible development of this remote region of the Kingdom. Let's take a closer look at all of this.

From your riad in Imilmaiss                        

You have to leave early in the morning to take full advantage of this excursion and not have to rush. We are going to a country where time does not have the same value. A 4x4 vehicle is essential. The track has countless bends and it is better to be perfectly in control of your vehicle, even if the vans you encounter can be counted... on the fingers of one hand.

 

Equip yourself with good shoes (high-top sneakers are enough) and above all a backpack with water and provisions. In the Secret Atlas, restaurants are non-existent, at least for now. There remains the encounter with the inhabitant and the pleasures of the unforeseen to provoke.

 

Watch out for turns

 

We first take the old road to Marrakech, which we leave just beforethe artificial lake of Abdelmoumen. Sand quickly follows bitumen. Recently opened on the south side of the mountain, the track nevertheless allows two vehicles to pass each other. But watch out for the bends, because the precipice is vertiginous! 

 

The landscape is superb and never monotonous. Fortunately, because it scrolls for several tens of kilometers! The arrival at Imilmaiss takes place during the morning, after two to three hours on the road, depending on your pace and the frequency of your stops.

 

Harmonious show

 

Do not be surprised that some of these inhabitants - Berbers in their overwhelming majority - look at you a little askance, sometimes with suspicion. They are not used to foreign visitors. Behave normally, without provocation, and everything will be fine. Admire the village of adobe (raw earth) houses which rise over a large part of the slope, offering a harmonious spectacle between habitat and nature. Here nothing has changed for centuries. Only electricity and television antennas testify to a link with modernity. 

 

As there are no geographical landmarks, be aware that Imilmaiss is at the height of thetizi n'Testwhich, further east, connects the Souss Valley toMarrakesh. We are on the borders of the Province of Taroudant.

 

 

From Imilmaiss to Amassa                             

A track climbs from Imilmaiss towards Amassa, before descending to a wadi and climbing again. It takes a good hour to get to this reward that is Amassa, perched on a rocky peak.

 

An Agadir in the heart of the village

 

This village is a jewel, whose heart is an agadir, that is to say a Berber bank of stone and adobe. Its characteristic? He is still active; the huts are hermetically closed and supervised by a fastidious guardian. This Agadir set in the small town also has the characteristic of being almost round, whereas those of the Souss Valley, such asImchguiguiln, consist of two parallel walls.

 

Poverty and emigration

 

However, the extreme beauty of the place does not feed her man. Poverty is endemic. Here, as in Imilmaiss, young people emigrate to the Souss Valley. To look for work, they find themselves in a locality near Taroudant, Ait Aiaaza, which does not have an ounce of the beauty of their village of origin.

 

Apples and tourism

 

To reverse the trend, the director of the Ouled Teima Agricultural Development Office launched the idea of developing apple cultivation and opening the secret Atlas to tourism. The apple trees will be planted in the red Golden variety, which sells better in Morocco than the yellow Golden. Terraced orchards await them, on the edge of a wadi protected by two mountain sections. 

 

The track will be paved, which should encourage the arrival of visitors eager to rub shoulders with real authenticity. A hostel is also planned. It would of course be fitted out according to the rules of the ancestral construction of the Berbers. 

 

THEPlan Wormt Moroccan is asked to finance the operation. We hope that it will materialize. It would lead to a responsible development of this region, whose authenticity is the greatest treasure.

 

Threshing wheat like in the old days                             

It is worth walking through the alleys of Amassa. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to witness the threshing of wheat by half a dozen donkeys, as shown above. Listen carefully, there is always something unexpected happening in Amassa.

Anchor 1
 

At 2h 15from Star Garden. Be careful on the very steep track!
 

Berber encounters along the way
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