Some desert pistes in the Western Sahara

I met up with Manfred and Gaby, a German couple from Munich, on a campsite some 30 km. from Laayoune. I had first met them in Agdz during my two-month shakedown trip in Morocco. They have travelled extensively and are experienced desert rats. Since they had plans to return this January and do some pistes out of Gandini’s guide in the Western Sahara, we would try to match our plans so that we could do a part of it together.

The campsite, Le Camp Bedouin, run by Luc and Hafida, is very quiet and is set in a beautiful desert surroundings. It has no drinking water and only salted water for the shower (warmish after a sunny day). To compensate for that they have a bath with the most spectacular view I’ve ever seen. Pity it was too cold…

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Bath with a view

We had a lovely dinner together in the Bedouin tent restaurant. I had a tajine chameau (or rather dromedaire). I had one three years ago when I was cycling here, in Guelmim, and it was tough, sinewy and tasteless meat. So I gave the camel a second chance, and it was fantastic!

With Manfred and Gaby in their fully equipped Land cruiser alongside my old Landy it felt safe and comfortable to drive some beautiful desert pistes. Nothing beats a bushcamp in the desert. Especially when there’s no wind and a clear sky. The silence in combination with all the stars is dreamlike. We found some amazing spots to make camp, thanks to Manfred navigational skills.

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bushcamp under acacia trees

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bushcamp in the dunes

On the third day we said goodbye. They travelled further south on Gandini’s RPD1 (the old Paris Dakar route), and I took a different piste of around 90 km. to Boujdour on the coast, where I am now. Following the sealed road to Dakhla tomorrow, and Mauritania the day after.

Thimba will be glad we’re out of the desert. Although she liked to play and run in the sand, the driving must have been unpleasant. The bumpier the piste the harder she breathed! She’s becoming a very tough and experienced traveling dog!

 

2 thoughts on “Some desert pistes in the Western Sahara

  1. peer

    Mooie foto’s Gee! Thimba staat er stoer op.
    Geweldige campingplek. Leuk dat jullie elkaar weer getroffen hebben. Veel plezier met het vervolg van je reis!
    groet Peer en Mieke

    Reply
  2. Trundlinjack

    Sounds fantastic I still remamber the fantastic skies on a night this was one of the highlights for me when I was working in Malawi to finish the day off watching the ever changing nght sky cant wait to start my trip later this year and get back to all that sand driving and the skies along with the complete silence fantastic

    Jack

    Reply

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