Great night on the shore, the sea as a lullaby, and even cookies for breakfast. Dad and Mum are spoiling me. Still… morning moisture is covering me. Will I ever get clean and dry? They must read my mind: a good shower at the gas station is all I need and here we go, before heading south!
We take the road along the coast, nearly empty and wilder. And guess what? We even manage to meet buddies locked in Foum Zguid with us! It’s a small world…
Sand on the tarmac: me LOVES it. The the road cuts across wadis and cracks on the sea: brackish waters, cliffs and birds. Hope “development” wont find them, too… And then Naila – the immense lagoon system. You just can’t believe there’s a desert behind your shoulders. Fishermen offer for a lift but we have to go. Tarfaya is our next destination. Now it’s time to spoil Mum and Dad with a carbonara and nice chats in the best camping so far.
Tomorrow: DAKHLA. Feels like home!
Naila left behind, and always ready to catch views of what’s around us, we arrive soon in Tarfaya – Camping Villa Bens. Actually it’s quite early before lunch but it’s always good timing for food
Dad and I have already been here, so it feels like home: nice smiles from the hosts welcome us in. Gianpiero and his wife live here with their new puppy Biondo – a peaceful afternoon, I take a good rest while Mum and Dad chat and then go for a looong walk on the beach across the road. Guess what? The infamous “10 minutes with a biologist” – poooooor Dad!!! Ok…. they are taking lots of pics (at any-single-thing-they-see!!!).
Once back we’re all going for a serious carbonara – stereotyped Italians, with red wine and all Yep yep me LIKES this! And Mum!!! Oh dear – She’s got in love with the camping toilets! But congrats go to Giampiero and his wife who created everything from scratches (really – built themselves!) and even more important keep everything clean and neat – better than a hotel (Foum Zguid – are you hearing us?) 😛
Finally they all go to sleep – the last stretch is ahead of us… just can’t wait… the lagoon opening up in front of us as we drive downhill at PK27 and, even before, the island appearing on the horizon, all shining silver around it.
Oh, yes! Let’s go!
Finally that awful rain is no longer coming down and the muddy water of the wadis is slowly soaked up by the desert (wonder where it’s going do end up!)
Mum and Dad have discussed quite a lot about the road to take and decided to make me follow two Toyota (me doesn’t like Toyota!). We start with a bit of shopping, water, bread, veggies and then go on a pist to go around the “bridge” (which collapsed because of the flooding). After a good 15 km … back on tarmac, all dry and sunny sunny (me LOVES this). But – damn – getting wet again. Guess who’s the lucky winner? MEEEE (sgrunt). Oook, Dad gets us across the wadi, up on a side diversion and down behind it. And that’s all of the bad stuff for today. Lots of km ahead of us – after 2 days stuck at Foum Zguid my family just can’t wait being in Dakhla so today straight to Tan Tan Plage. We arrive before dusk, a camping on the beach, love the smell from the sea, and this chilly breeze. Yep – me LIKES that. Dad lets me stay and takes Mum for dinner. Fried fish and cookiez (yummy). But now time to sleep. I’m a bit tired and tomorrow back on the road again. Tarfaya – here we come!
After hills, cedars forest and climbing up and down the mountains, finally it is time for some good Desert rides.
Mom drove me till Merzouga and while approaching the landscape changed completely, trees and green all of the sudden disappeared and left spaces to astonishing colours!
Arrived at Erg Chebby, incredible desert with high dunes surrounded by black stony hamada and the good part is that it is finally very dry and hot (38°C) but pfff I am a bit sick… started to leak from my water pump and I feel a bit the heat. Luckily Ahmed, our new local friend and guide, assured in 2 days I will be very well treated on a nice and cosy beauty-farm in Zagora.
After a lazy afternoon where Dad, Mom and Ahmed drunk a lot of Moroccan Whiskey (mint tea) we went to a cosy hotel for the night – the coming day I was ready! Some coolant liquid addition and we started. A slow ride around the Chebby, the sand finally! My wheels where spinning a bit but after a while Dad understood (thanks God) how to drive me on soft sand. We passed by a very stony black desert and then very close to the Algerian border where we stopped in a nice oasis, water, palms, goats … soo nice…time to move back to town, wind started to gain strength and visibility dropped but Ahmed knows every inch of that place so in a short while we were back home safely – Mom I must admit was a bit worried 😛 ….
But the nice part yet has to come… Merzouga to Zagora about 250 km of piste, a path where the famous Paris-Dakar vehicles were passing and running – we were just slow pacing and enjoying the ride… 🙂 … was incredible, such varied scenarios opened up under my wheels, hamada with rocks, tolle ondulé … (me don´t like it – I tell YOU), dry – since long but not for long – lakes where I had the chance to run fast … (me like that MUCH MORE) and sandy patches, small dunes where I was fast enough to float and proceed at decent speed! …Such a great day!!!!…. I will remember it for all my life… wind came up strong toward end of the day but finally we arrived in Zagora… Ahmed brought us to the beauty-farm “Chez Ali Racing” the best workshop in town, and after a bit of chat plus another couple of Moroccan Whiskeys we decided to start my treatment the coming day… so now time for a good sleep.
Thanks Mom and Dad… I really enjoyed our ride..but thanks to Ahmed too …I felt a bit lost when visibility dropped but he knew the way very well 🙂
Today’s the day: finally entering a few hundreds km off-road, on stones, sand and mud. Of course, for a good start, we took the wrong way.
My family wanted to cut across the cedar forest and had thoroughly discussed various alternative routes. One really looked great, but also very hard and they opted for another looking safer and easier. They fed all waypoints to the GPS and we drove off.
Yet, something went wrong after a few Y-crossings. Don’t ask me why: they drove me right instead of left, taking to increasingly difficult paths, then tracks and finally just a line of bumps and stones. But they were right – what a breath-taking landscape! Dense forests of cedars that must have been hundred-year old, then sudden open breaks on the plateau. Nature had fun turning this land upside down: rock layers jump out almost vertically along fractured planes.
When we reached the top, I mean the very top of the last mountain, we couldn’t find the slightest sign of tracks so the lady asked some cattlemen but they only spoke the local dialect (which is not Arabic). Understanding wasn’t straightforward but somehow they made it: after a few km full of doubts here’s the track and finally the road. What a great team working!
We started our trip and get to know each other better every day. My family has fun getting up and down the ceiling – sometimes to sleep, sometimes to take or leave tools, various objects, things…. They say they sleep very well and, to be honest, they do sleep a lot.
We are crossing new places, always new landscapes and unexpected languages. For instance we’ve been in Chefchaouen and had to speak Spanish (our “sort of “ Spanish…) in the narrow streets of a blue city lost amid the mountains. Then we wen through huge fields of olive trees, and saw the sun go down behind the ruins of Volubilis that seemed to live again. Today, instead, we reached the top of the world and found monkeys! I exaggerated a bit – the police told me I was running too fast and my sir had to pay a fine (he’s not so happy). UUUFFFFFF…. Pity. I just started to enjoy!
So my family took me on a big fast ship that made us cross the sea. Strange – I though I was fully loaded but all around me were many other gentlemen (not mine, just to be clear) with other cars even more loaded than me.
Before boarding we all lined up, one behind the other and then one line next to the other. Yet, those right in front of everybody decided to go shopping and, when the boarding time came, we were all stuck. Just for a second, though, as the wild bunch started to go around the obstacles (parked cars) and bard in a rush.
We did behave and finally I could get into the ship’s belly. I didn’t like to stay there without my family but when the big fast ship stopped I found myself in a new place (finally a sunny one!) and ready to go! HURRAY!!!!!