Day 29. Tuesday, 17th January. From Bou-Izakarn to Tarfaya

We were stirring and thinking about getting up when Adam knocked and told us the weather wasn’t looking good. We leapt out of bed and on unzipping the tent were met with billowing dark clouds. It looked as if rain wasn’t far away. A rush to pack up. We were ready to go at 10. 

Despite our fears, it didn’t rain and we had a day of sun and cloud. As we approached the town of Guelmin I thought I saw a sign advertising a Carrefour supermarket. Guelmin is quite a sizeable town. I Googled Carrefour and was taken around the town to what turned out to be Hotel Carrefour. We failed to find anything looking like a supermarket, so cut our losses and headed for El Ouatia and the coast. 

It’s an inhospitable, desolate environment. Rocky desert with electricity pylons and not much else. Not enhanced by the amount of plastic bottles, bags and broken glass which litter the roadsides. The road, as in so many parts of the country, is being upgraded into what looks as if will be a dual carriageway. We switch between the old road and beautiful brand new sections and make excellent progress.

We have a break for lunch in Tan-Tan. The further south we travel, the scenery can only be described as super desolate. Miles of nothing. From time to time sea fog billows in from the ocean. The wind is blowing in from the sea too and occasionally sand wafts across the road, or is lying on the road.

Tarfaya

We have made good time and arrive in Tarfaya at around 1700. Adam wants to go to the museum here which honours the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery. He was a French aristocrat. A pioneering aviator and author. There is a museum and monument to him at Cap Juby, Tarfaya because this was a stopping point on the mail route he flew from France to South America. His most well known book is probably The Little Prince.

Museum entrance.
Mail service Route
The Little Prince.

Saint-Exupery disappeared on a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean in 1944. His plane was discovered off the coast of  Marseille in 2020. 

We call the museum’s curator and he comes and opens up for us. We have a quick look around and ask if there is anywhere we can camp nearby. The curator advises us we can camp behind the museum by the sea, next to the Saint-Exupery monument. When we go and investigate there  are already 3 overlanders in residence. 

Desolate campsite

We find a suitable spot for us to be able to put up our tent. We have to make sure it’s very securely pegged down as a strong wind is blowing off the sea. One of the other overlanding vehicles is an enormous Italian camper truck. Adam talks to the lady occupant. She is in a state of agitation. It appears her husband/partner is ill and in hospital. She is scared of being alone. The local police come along and assure her they are keeping watch over us and that the area is perfectly safe.

Despite the wind I managed to get to sleep and it was an uneventful night. Too short, however, as Dennis woke me up at 6 wanting to get the tent down. He thought there was a lull in the wind and we should take advantage of it. I wasn’t really ready to wake up but reluctantly agreed.

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