Category Archives: unpredictables

The flying dog

One day dad & mom come with a furrythingy and say “Hi Pat, this is Dot – she’ll be our little pup from now on”. I was stunned. I love Lampe, the dog that named me (Pat-one). I was unsure – how should I treat this new … thing? Should I be nice and friendly, or stand for Lampe against the little furry intruder?

I guess she was somehow perplexed and timid, too. In the beginning she didn’t even dare to join dad & mom when prompted to jump in and leave all together. Annoying… !!! And cunning, too – dammit. Was it really unavoidable being sick every-and-single time at the first jump or bend? I mean… you know… not so nice to me indeed…

Then, step by step, we got to know each other better. Lampe gave a hand (one of the three good ones :-)) teaching her so many things, and also told me I am allowed to like Dot – he won’t take it bad. Dot got relaxed, too. She understood I’m trustworthy and, actually, now considers me her “mobile-couch”, a drivable home taking her in so many new places. No more need for dad & mom to prompt her and go. When we stop, my door stays open and Dot decides what to do, jumping in and out to explore the world or come back for a nap. I like cuddling here. Especially now that she’s no longer getting sick!!

She even proved to be a super dog herself (like Lampe): not any pup can fly from the second floor (how-did-you-do-it???!!!) with no consequence whatsoever! I guess someone gave a hand here as well (maybe more than one…). Good trick, for sure. But fine enough, ok? 🙂


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Back on track!

So we are leaving Europe again! Just couldn’t wait!
The last few months have been hard, but after rain comes sunshine – and me likes the sun 🙂
I’m getting used to the Big Fast Ship – me likes that too. Not many buddies there but a couple of really nice oldies to share the trip with. Then straight to the South, with the usual happy stop over in Tarfaya.
Ehm… not without any bumps, though. All of a sudden I’ve got a gloppita gloppita liquidish noise from the gearbox. Mum and Dad got instantly worried and we stopped for a quick check in Guelmin. Good to have friends here and there around the globe – they said I’d just take it easy and come down in fourth gear. That’s not bad, when you’ve got a thousand km ahead of you at max speed 80 Km/h, but we’re never in a hurry!
It was a great journey, all long the way carpeted with blooms from the winter heavy rains. And then home. Dakhla, here we are (again). A puppy is waiting for us, but I need the doctor first. So here he is – I’m a bit scared… will it hurt?


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Sand bath

Your’re right – I’ve been silent for too long 🙂 It’s just that we get lazy between trips..

We spent two great days, hard to describe everything but three moments will always stay in our memory.

Day 1. Following an old Paris-Dakar pist on an endless and stony hamada we get to a dry wadi. There’s a soft sand patch to cross to the other side. To be honest… better than the awful water in Foum Zguid 🙂 🙂
We stop and walk to see pre-Islamic tombs. It is nice and pleasant, and there are old acacia trees. They are incredible, twisted and shaped by the wind they are still there after years of hard life. They offer rest to birds, butterflies and any other animal looking for a bit of shade. And we meet two camels, mother and “pup” (approximately one year old). They are free, no marks, no ear-clip, nothing… They must have got lost before being marked and live in their natural habitat. With patience and wispering, our guide approaches the female and fondles her nose. We have seen camels in the desert before but these, all alone on such a backdrop, really impress me.
We keep going and finally stop for the camp. A few hours of deserved rest.

Day 2. We go for a large detour and find ourselves on the southern edge of yesterday’s wadi. We’ve got to cross. Dad reviews sand procedures. We’ve already tested my ability in solo-driving on sand: first low gear, diff-lock on, clutch gently released and I start going without speeding up on fresh tracks. I keep moving, time for my crew to get off and make me lighter. Dad walks on my side and occasionally steers from the window (just to make me feel safe). I do the rest. There’s a bit of going up. I can’t make it. Stop. Have to reverse and find another way. We’ve got to try the sandy patch of yesterday. We stop before it and check the sand, those tracks that are like a railroad. Once in, I will have to follow them until the end. Inhale… one, two, three… diff-lock… I speed up and start running on the railroad. More soft sand, I slow down, can’t go on. Stop again 🙁 Dad goes on first low gear, tries again but it’s too soft…
To cut it short: I had a sand bath 🙁
My gentlemen wisely decide to take a break and have lunch under one of those beautiful and friendly acacia trees, resting before digging me out 🙂 After lunch we ponder the situation. They lift me one wheel at a time, deflate my tires… I’m standing again! We give it another try but we can’t proceed. Finally we ask our guide for help and he manages it 🙂 We can’t help an Al-ḥamdu lillāh whisper (Thanks God Thanks)! Lesson learnt, lots of new skills and – most important – we got out of the sand! 🙂

I’ll never forget his eyes. An old shepherd, his skin burned by the sun, his Salaam-Alaikum greeting (“May the Peace be on You”). His wrinkles seen only when he unfolds the turban. He asks for water, and water he is given. His eyes shining – he can’t believe it: Not only two Europeans (and a dog), on a Land Rover, give him water at 2:30 pm in the middle of the desert… The water is cold! You can see a light in his eyes, he can’t tell but you can swear it is intense, nearly mystic. I just can imagine he gets back to the camp, tells his friends and they can’t believe it – and the water is now warm again 🙂
This is the best moment of the day for all of us. Maybe of the year! Such a grateful look, such an inner peace in giving water… These are the things that make me want to stay here (in the desert) ever more….


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Like the desert needs the rain

Fine enough – they fooled me. Must be like that.
“No worries, Pat. Soon we’re done with the rain. We take you to the South, in the desert, where your wheels can stay dry as long as you want!”. They said.
So why is it raining like hell since since yesterday? And what’s this? Rivers that cut off the road? In the desert????? Not to mention the thunderstorm we had tonight. BBBBRRRRRR. So we have to stay, right in the middle of nowhere, three roads out of three blocked by flooded wadi…
Ehm… hallo…. Sure you didn’t take the wrong turn again???!!!!


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I must have been a really good girl: I got an entire beauty-farm day, and they put me back in shape.
Actually nearly 1000 km off-road on stones and sand, with wind and climbing up and down left the mark. My water pump was leaking a bit, a few km to the end of this segment I took a clearcut stone and one of my tire had to be changed, and even inside I was covered in sand and dust.
But Ahmed knows what to do and took us at Ali’s, who was waiting for us with a new pump and his entire team ready for me. They worked a whole day as you know, the more you get, the more you want – good to have a full check-up. But what a pleasure! They come from all over Morocco here to Zagora to pamper cars like me. To say it all, my family was pampered as well: breakfast, lunch, internet… Unbelievable, ever seen anything alike?
Great – Now I am ready for what comes next!


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