20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

Start of Sahara

Bus to Dakhla

View from Hotel

Dakhla Seafront


It's not quite the end of the earth here but it certainly felt like it getting here, hour after hour after hour of nothingness. I think Hollywood gives the impression that the Sahara is never ending Sand Dunes or Erg to give them the local name, not so, most of it it Savanah, rocky arid ground with tufts of hardy scrub weeds. The ocassional dunes do give some visual stimulation and at times I'm not sure how they haven't blocked the road, maybe they have sand-ploughs. It's cheap down here though, just had soup, salad, tagine, chips and a coke for 2 quid.

Well blow me away, I remember turning up in Calcutta after a 3 day sailing to find out that Kevin Kegan had quit and been replaced by Daglish, now I get half way across the Sahara and he's back.

Dakhla is a very weird place, a town at the south of Southern Sahara mainly there to keep Morocco's claim to the territory. People from all over Morocco have been induced to live there with tax incentives but the main population of the place is made up of police and army personnel, it's a bit like Catterick in the Sahara. As the last town in Morocco it is also the last stopping off point and congregating centre for people wanting to cross into Mauritania. I met Andreas, a German version of Ollie, on the bus down here. I think he had met everyone in town within a few hours of arriving and had a good idea of the transport situation. He found Jan Joost from Holland to join us but we needed one more person to secure a car to take us to Nouadhibou. We heard that some Koreans had already booked a car and that there was a French guy somewhere looking for others. Eventually we seemed to have a deal that would get us there, we would be leaving at 9am the next day.

To celebrate and have a last drink before entering dry Mauritania we went off to the Sahara Regency, the only 4 star hotel in town for a drink. Very nice it was too, rooftop bar complete with pool overlooking the whole town. Morocco is quite sensitive about photographing it's military installations, especially in the Western Sahara so it was quite a surprise that the rooftop bar also overlooked the airport with it's full compliment of fighter jets on display, I wonder where any spies would choose to stay in Dakhla?



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