On the eve of the official start of the road trip, a star was born, her name is Sourour and her arrival cheered up both her family and the road trip participants.
It is therefore under a beautiful star that the organizers took the road, on this Thursday, December 19, 2019, from Algiers to rally: Oran, Sidi Bel Abbès and Tlemcen.
The original itinerary being slightly modified at the end, due to unforeseen circumstances, this is also what makes the charm of this kind of outing.
Day 1: Oran | Tlemcen
Appointment given to participants at noon under the Hotel Le Méridien. The convoys came from Algiers, Relizane, Tlemcen and Oran.
After having sat down at one of the restaurants on the Corniche, we climbed to the top of Santa Cruz to visit the panorama of the place. A peripheral landscape awaited us. At the top of the mountain of Aïdour there is a fort erected by the Spaniards (who had invaded and brought down the Byzantine Empire in 1453), between 1577 and 1604 composed of walls more than two and a half kilometers thick, topped by strong towers spaced between them, with a central castle where the Spanish governor established his residence. Below the fort of Santa-Cruz, which means Holy Cross, stands the Cathedral of Our Lady of Santa-Cruz, while at its top there is a mosque.
At sunset, descend to the city for a night walk and head to the new Es Senia Mall for a meeting with our Oran friends. BMW and Audi also at the RDV, however cars outside the meeting caused the tires to squeal and damaged the beautiful coating of the parking lot, COCKPIT would like to thank the professionalism of the parking managers who were able to make the difference, after discussion, between disruptors and members of the meeting.
11:00 p.m., after eating in the Es Senia Mall (which we invite to visit), head to Tlemcen for the early diapers group and Sidi Bel Abbés for the late diapers group. Unfortunately for the group of Sidi Bel Abbès, a small overheating on one of the cars of the convoy and a stop on the highway in the middle of nowhere. it is the first unforeseen event of the road trip, but the solidarity of the Cockpistes has no equal, this moment was rather a pleasant adventure. Exit Sidi Bel Abbès, direction Tlemcen in formation on the highway at reduced speed. Arrived at our hotel at 4 am and not tired at all, unlike the group from Tlemcen who stormed the hotel beds, the group of late diapers, left to play a domino game.
Day 2 | Tlemcen
The survey being harder for them, after a small coffee, direction the waterfalls of El-Ourit located 7 km from Tlemcen. Waterfalls that had remained dry for 40 years, due to the dam, reappeared in 2009. We can also see the Eiffel railway bridge which was built by Gustave Eiffel in the 19th century, and in the same architecture of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A metal bridge that spans the torrent of waterfalls, It is by there, dominating this grandiose and luxuriant panorama, (An impressive and majestic canyon, framed by very high mountains, on the east side the Djebel Chaouiter, of 1,163 m of attitude , on the west side by Jebel Hanaf, 1,208 m above sea level), which the Bel-Abbès train passes. A very deep ravine is carved into the dolomite, a limestone rock leaving pink and some red escarpments. Seven "gueltas" are formed in stages and give waterfalls thanks to the spring water and the overflow of the El-Mefrouch dam, located upstream.
Magical stopover, but at the time of departure for our second stopover of the day, namely the Ain Beni Add caves, we learn that they are closed because of non-payment of their electricity receipt. Caves discovered by the Berbers some 65,000 years ago and whose entrance culminates at an altitude of 1,200 meters, they extend over 700 m, with a depth of up to 57 m. The main cave open to the public has a gallery of several well-appointed rooms and has sufficient natural light. The visitor has plenty of time to notice the extreme elegance of the natural designs, the fruit of mixtures between stalactites and stalagmites. This is only a postponement.
We therefore decided to replace this stopover with a visit to old Tlemcen and two guided tours of the El Mechouar Palace which is a royal Zianide palace complex built in 1248 and of the El-Méchouar mosque built in 1317.
After these cultural moments, we climb to an altitude of 800 meters for a picnic in the forest and witness the equestrian talents of our Cockpistes.
We end with a visit to the Lala Sitti plateau for a new breathtaking panorama over the entire region.
As time is running out, we leave the Mostaganem stage for the next time. Each one takes over the management of his house, a group of Cockpistes will spend an additional night in Oran just to prolong the fun and the adventures.
Organizer's report: 3 cities, 1,200km, 100% fun and infinitely fun.
Next meeting, early 2020 for the East Road Trip.
We would like to thank all the people who warmly welcomed us, which helped make this Road Trip Cockpit a reality, as well as the Z'hommes in the shadows.