Entering the Sahara fully geared.

After the minor hiccup with the gearbox – which had me grounded in Mohammedia for three weeks and cost me a fortune – I’m happy to say that I am now fully geared for the Western Sahara. I made camp at Tantan plage, some 15 km west of town, admiring the sun set over the Atlantic. Who’s bored, eh?

Img 1793

Lone Landy ready for the Western Sahara

When I collected the Landy from the garage and drove it back to Mohammedia, I heard all sorts of scary noises from underneath the car. I had the feeling I’d lose the box before reaching the campsite! Slept very badly, having nightmares of Landy’s falling apart. I went back to the garage next morning, as agreed, and all the nasty noises were gone. And after a final test run and a final-final check under the car I could not but hope for the best and hit the road.

The garage of Ahmed Rajali have really done a good job, worked extra hours, sometimes with three mechanics working at the car, and charged me 2.300 drh (just over 200 euros) for the job itself. Thanks, Ahmed and your mechanics, you’re a great team!

I’m enjoying my chance encounters;  that’s what travelling is all about. Here’s a selection of the last couple of days:

Trying to get a taxi to take me from Casablanca to Mohammedia. Waiting and waiting, no taxi. Clouds are gathering, and it starts to pour. A Renault Kangoo stops. It’s Sami, who works at the port in Casa and lives in Mohammedia. He will gladly take me to the campsite (25 km), just for a chat. What a guy!

A French couple next to me at Aglou Plage campsite. I just love their van. No frizzles, just the necessities to be on the road. They are musicians with a great knowledge of Moroccan and African music. When I leave in the morning, Christian gives me a CD that he produced with recordings of himself and several African artists. To listen to on my long journey. And I will, and I have, with pleasure!

Descending a mountain just outside Tantan, I am stopped at a police checkpoint. It seems I overtook a van while driving down and that’s a first class offence: 700 drh (= 60 euro). The fact that the van was almost standing still makes a meagre impression on the gendarme. I rest my case and walk up to his mate in the car, who starts filling in a form and again explains to me how dangerous my behaviour was. He asks for the 700 drh, and I hand over the four bills. “First time Morocco?”, he asks. I tell him it’s my fourth time in his lovely country and that I’m enjoying it very much!. He stops writing. “Last warning”, he says, and hands me back my papers and the money. “Vous avez gagnez 700 drh”, he smiles. I shake his hands and thank him for his kindness. Good Moroccan cop!


2 thoughts on “Entering the Sahara fully geared.

  1. Mieke Hurkmans

    wat heerlijk Gee, dat je weer verder kunt! Dit heb je al weer goed opgelost. Ik vroeg me af of je al enigszins kunt aangeven, waar je zult zitten in juli…? Want mijn cursussen lopen goed, dus ik ga sparen voor een ticket.
    Fijne reis verder met hopelijk volop aventuur! lieve groet, Mieke.

  2. peer

    Hoi Gee, wat een verhaal!! en dan net een fors artikel gelezen over de kosten van corruptie binnen Europa! Hoewel deze ontmoeting met de agent wel een leuk welkom is (in Nederland onmogelijk) Hopelijk nu lekker verder onderweg naar de volgende verassing. We blijven je met plezier volgen. Mieke heeft de eerste volle cursus in de planning en spaart al fors om je ergens te ontmoeten!
    groetjes Peer


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>