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The gorges

For many travellers, the visit to Oued el Abiod has been the part of the journey that has left the strongest impression. The Oued el Abiod is the product of seasonal rivers cutting through the soft mountains of Aures over millions of years. The gorges are approached en route between Batna and Biskra, along either the N3-route (northern) or the N31-route (southern), but there is so much to see here, that travelling through, f.ex. with public transport, is a real waste. Dedicating a couple of days to exploring the gorges, is the sane choice.
The centre of most visitors' experiences in Oued el Abiod is the village Rhoufi, about 90 km from Batna, where most of the tourist activity is centred around vendors of goat hair carpets. Out from this village the whitesided Gorge of Tighanimime can be reached. The Rhoufi balcony will give you an astounding view over another gorge, this one red. Exploring the gorge at foot, you will walk through a palm sided river bed, an excellent excursion if you do this during a summer visit to Algeria. Along the steep hill sides, mud-brick villages cling. You could be walking out from Rhoufi, and reach other villages by walking along the river, until you reach the oasis of Baniane (half day) and further to the beautiful oasis of M'Chounèche (one day), in southern direction. If you're setting out for the whole walk to Biskra in the south, expect to use 3-4 days.

Eat and Sleep
Almost nothing of hotels, there should be one in M'Chounèche. Sleeping bag should be OK for trekkers. Restaurants are equally sparse, bring your own food and be ready to prepare it yourself. Most larger villages has food stores, though.

Buses pass through the area, but no more than one daily.

By Tore Kjeilen