Last night was interesting. As Jen mentioned, we were close to the sea and the wind blew with a vengeance. Despite that, we both slept well, waking at 6am. I decided that the 645k drive to Dakhlar was doable if we got on the road early.
There is not much in the way of habitation along the way and sand dunes were appearing.
Tarfaya is the last city in the original Marocco and police checkpoints were getting more frequent. It’s a very touchy subject, Western Sahara, with Moroccans. It was formerly Spanish Sahara. However, despite a ruling by the European Court of Law, against Morocco’s annexation and in favour of a claim for nationhood by the Polisario Front, Marocco have ignored the ruling and annexed it. We were told, when crossing into Morocco, by one of the customs agents, that the line on the map on the side of Poki, showing a border between it and Western Sahara, would be very contentious. Well, despite some comments by petrol station pump attendants, we have not had serious complaints,. At Jen’s insistence I cut a small piece of masking tape and covered the lines, sort of. Frankly I’d prefer to be defiant…:)
Our drive from Tafaya we passed through Laayoune. Probably, because it has been taken over by Marocco, there has been a huge amount of money spent on it and I would venture to say it’s the nicest most civilized city in the nation. There is a massive amount of money being spent in Morocco, both sides of the border.
At one of the many police checkpoints, there are several sorts of police presence. Some in black uniforms, others in blue/grey. One smart young guy took a fancy to Jen. Made her day by telling her she was beautiful…:). Jeez, what a chat-up line..laughing. I thought It politically expedient to agree with him. 🙂
Camping in desperation.
It wasn’t till after 6pm that we arrived in Dakhlar, a mostly new city at the end of a small peninsula but with no official camping place. The waters between it and the mainland are a haven for kite-surfers. There were dozens of camper-vans from all over Europe there. Some have been there for weeks. Not quite our scene and without facilities, we headed further along the peninsula. iOverland directed us to another unofficial camp site, a huge partly developed space behind constructions. No facilities either but it was getting dark and we had run out of options.
The city is also seeing massive investment in hotels and apartments. Many still under construction. Clearly they are looking to appeal to holiday makers from Europe. Remind me not to come back..:)
We don’t seem to be having a great run on portable toilets. When emptying it yesterday, the seal must have gone down the loo with the contents as now we have a leak that needs to be addressed. I purchased an old car tyre inner tube in the hope that I could fashion a new gasket from a piece of it. 10dirahms, about NZ$1. So far it’s not been a great success. The rubber is too soft. Lets just say it’s a work in progress. One that has to be rectified.
Another day with no wifi to update the blog.
It’s now only about 300k’s to the Mauritanian border. We will attempt that tomorrow.