0356. Gateway to Toubkal (Mor 188--new)

Asni Travel Blog

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After exploring Azrou I continue hiking down along the highway as it starts to wind up the hills.  I’m really in no hurry to get back on a bus—maybe I’ll just hike on until I happen on another town.  But rainclouds are getting closer and closer… so when I bus stops right in front of me, I decide to get on.

Good thing.  It immediately starts raining.  And not only that, but soon the road turns into a one lane highway to hell, with a cliff on one side and a sheer drop on the other—not exactly pedestrian friendly… The bus snakes along the walls of this deep canyon.

Welcome to the High Atlas.

We reach Asni.  Asni is a bold type town on the map—but it’s actually just a village.  It’s in a relatively spacious valley where the road up to Imlil and Mount Toubkal begins—thus it is known as “The Gateway to Toubkal”.

 

It has stopped raining, at least for now.  But way up there where Mount Toubkal is, the sky is black.  My guess is, if it’s raining down here, it’s snowing up there (later I find out that that’s true).  And all I have with me is a sweater—and my tennis shoes probably won’t work to well climbing in the snow…

So now the big question:  do I continue on to the base of Toubkal or do I continue on down the highway to Taroudant?  It would kind of suck to reach Imlil and not be able to climb the mountain…

While I think about it, I set out to explore Asni.  I head down the road a bit, enjoying the cluster of homes and a cool castle perched on top of a steep hill… I meet a couple of Berber fellows who claim that they are a Berber wedding band—so we jam for a little bit there beside the road…

I head down to the stream through the plum orchards… Then I head back into town where I ask around to find out if anyone knows what the weather is going to be like tomorrow.

  It sounds like this stormy weather is going to continue, so I reluctantly decide to not continue on to Toubkal…

I ask around about cheap hotels.  I’m told that I should have better luck in nearby Moulay Brahim.  That sounds a little odd… Hotels in a village that isn’t even on the map?  I guess I should go check it out…


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Asni
photo by: nathanphil