Sound of the Sahara

Hello again! First of all… a merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you. I hope all your dreams come true in the new year. It’s been a while since you heard from me. In my defence… I tried to write what I’m publishing today about a week ago, but I lost it all. So here’s the second attempt.

After Essaouira I was heading towards Agadir. Instead of taking the main roads I decided to try the smaller roads… or should I say tracks. My but and my bicycle were suffering quite a lot, but the view made it all worth it.

Moving further: I arrived in Taghazout. This popular surfing destination is being attacked by ugly real estate projects. Agadir itself wasn’t much better. In fact, the whole city of Agadir has been destroyed by an earthquake in ’61. They rebuilt the city, and they created an ugly coastline. Almost as terrible as Marbella. Still, there’s some authenticity in the city. If you go to Souk El Had you’ll recognise Morocco again.

I continued towards Tiznit. I thought I had survived the last hills of the trip by that moment, but no… I still had some steep parts ahead of me. In Tiznit I met up with Alain. He’s also cycling to Senegal. I had found a partner in crime.

Tiznit is a more ‘authentic’ city. Not a popular tourist destination but definitely worth a visit.

We continued to Guelmim, also known as the ‘gate to the Sahara’.

The next city we passed was Tan-tan. The police stopped us to check our passports. From there on, at least 3 times a day our passports were checked.

The road brought us back to the coast. I saw some beautiful lagoons with flamingo’s. I also saw a special formation: the devil’s hole. It’s a hole in the ground next to the sea, about 10 m deep. You can find a video of it on my Facebook page.

We looked for a place to sleep. We piched our tents, but a bit later the Gendarmerie came to tell us it was not a safe place, so they escorted is to an other place, next to an amazingly beautiful lagoon… and next to the coastguard. At first, we didn’t feel like leaving the place, and since we already spent the night before next to the office of the Gendarmerie, we needed some freedom. But the gendarmes insisted. The reason why: a few nights before, two Scandinavian girls were brutally killed while camping in the mountains, by a terrorist organisation related to daesh. We hadn’t heard about that. But that’s why the Gendarmerie and the army are doing everything to ensure the safety of the travelers.

Anyway, the place they brought us to was stunning. Only Alain had a small problem: he left his food outside his tent, and some goats were really happy about that. They even ate all of his tea bags.

We entered the Western Sahara. This disputed territory is mostly occupied by Morocco. The only flags you see are the Moroccan flags. First city: Laayoune. The so called capital of the Western Sahara. The city had something very artificial. After Laayoune, the road followed the coast again. The strong trade winds pushed me to the south. 120 kilometres a day was a piece of cake. I passed Boujdour, a charming town between Laayoune and Dakhla. In Dakhla I met up with Kenneth again, and we celebrated new year together. If you want to read more about his trip, click Here. He’s also sending out postcards by the way…

We payed way too much money for a little bit of wine, but neither of us felt like having a dry New Years evening. Dakhla is kind of a cool place. It’s a Walhalla for kite surfers. I also met a few more cyclists going the same direction, we won’t be alone anymore.

One last thing: I’m still sending out postcards. More info Here. The first ones already made it to their destination. If you haven’t had your card yet, I’ll have to ask you for a little bit of patience. Postcards are not widely available in the Desert. I promise you’ll get it as soon as possible.

Have an amazing year!

Matti

1 thought on “Sound of the Sahara

  1. Happy new year to you, all the best. I’d like to be there with my bike, tent, cooker and all.

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