Col de Paradise, an unmapped new hill.

Posted on 16th Dec 2019

It was time to head inland, and that meant the Atlas Mountains, so I chose the invitingly named Paradise Valley. There was no getting away from it though, with a dicky knee this ride was going to be hilly. So I took the shortest but most direct with the intention of keeping it easy. The first hill, out of Agadir and over to Alma did seem to drag on a bit but it was predominately gradual gradients. The stats confirm the main part to be 5 miles at 5%. After Alma the road headed gradually up to paradise valley and resembled a smaller version of King Canyon at times. Here the local idiosyncrasy was to set out dining tables in the shallow river pools. Paradise Valley isn’t really anything to write home about. Its a rocky gorge with a river, a couple of eateries and a few palm trees. However just as I was about to turn around I saw someone had transported Alp d’Huez onto a side road. I wanted to get back before dark but equally this was too tempting an opportunity to miss. The problem was I had no idea where the road went because it wasn’t on the map; so I gave myself until 3pm then I needed to turn back. I reached the top and was still no wiser. When I got back to Agadir I learnt the road was only constructed in 2019 and after another U turn, would indeed have taken me along the mountain top and back to Tamzargourte. The Col de Paradise Valley as I have named it is around 5 miles at 8% from the main parking area. I started my easy return to Agadir using the same roads and going up the hills I had just gone down but there was a lot more down than up and I got back before the sunset in time for cocktails before dinner. [Strava]