A travel moment in Western Sahara


Am driving down to the western Sahara from Agadir to Dakhla the roads are bad especially from Laayonne on wards. The road is narrow, pot holed with speeding drivers some in old cars that shouldn’t be road worthy and cameo(lorry) drivers who drive too fast and by the looks of it have very
little sleep. They can be intimidating and crazy, over taking without a care for their safety or anyone else’s. I had a near miss on more then one occasion, one coming at me on the wrong side of the road, slamming on my brakes, I just avoid him by taking the car off the road, he passes me with a crazy smile. I swear at him with jesters, he doesn’t care. The only power you have in life, huh. From Boujdour onwards I see just a few cameo’s and cars, I get into a zone where I forget about them; then
all of a sudden there’s one beeping and flashing to overtake me, I’m in the middle of the road trying to avoid the worn tone edge that is corroded by the wind and sand. I pull over to let the driver pass, he
passes hand held on the horn beeeeeeeeeeep. I shake myself, swearing to check my mirror and to stay alert.

The landscape changes depending on where you are on the road. Its not long after the rains so the desert has purple flowers, like the moss you see at home, there’s patches of green or pink then something that looks like maze and sometimes yellow flowers like buttercups. Other times, just a dirty yellow sand with tuffs of pale green scraggy thorn like bush, scattered as far as the eye can see. The further I travel the more disserted it gets, the sand dunes seem higher then the last time I was here.

A good part of the way I have the coast beside me dotted with fisher huts. It looks like they scrape a living; but no; the sea is full yes it’s a hard life but they have their patch marked out and are better off
then many. Sometimes the coast is so spectacular I have to get out of the car, park off road. My favourite 310km from Dakhla, I’m on high ground looking down, a ship wreck from years ago laying half emerged pounded by a wild white surf of a violent sea. 30km to Dakhla, I come to the police check point where the road separate’s, one way is Dakhla the other to Mauritania. I am polite. Then
I drive on where the land narrow’s to a finger like mass, the sea on both sides but the road only allowing me to see the sheltered glorious blue green back towards El‘Argoub. Feeling the opposite wind from the exposed Atlantic, I drive down and then up and over then down to the sand bright and white and the turquoise of the blue lagoon. Then just 25km to Dakhla and sleep.

J Killingley

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