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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Morocco - 20 October, 2000

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Dakhla N2345.803' W01554.447'  19 m
Finish Camp site near border with Mauritania N2125.423' W01657.467'  20 m 385 km

Total:

6,187 km

 

Weather: Partly cloudy, sunny and very hot.  The wind is very strong and it is quite cool in the shade with the wind blowing.  It was quite cold in the evening and night after the sun goes down.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

Today we will join the twice weekly convoy to the border with Mauritania.  We are up early as we have some shopping to do for the cook groups.  After breakfast at 7:10 AM and packing up the camp site, we head into town at 8:05 AM.  As we are not in a cook group, we walk around and spend the last of our Dirhams as they cannot be exchanged back very easily.  We buy candy bars, toilet paper and detergent.  We then have a glass of mint tea.  We bought a few post cards, wrote them, and used up the last of our Moroccan stamps.

 

Morocco00_Convoy_Day1_Assembly_797_Web.gif (200521 bytes)

At 9:30 AM we proceed to the convoy assembly point, which is at the police check point just outside town (near our camp site).  Then the waiting begins.  They slowly assemble the convoy, taking down everyone's details and lining up the vehicles.  We have lunch on the truck while we are waiting.  There are an amazing number of vehicles joining the convoy.  The include 4 wheel drives (which you would expect), but also Mercedes, BMWs, Audis, Peugeots, Renaults, Citroens, vans, a bus, and some vehicles with no clear make.  It is quite a sight.

 

Morocco00_Convoy_Day1_CheckPoint_801_Web.gif (192896 bytes)

At 1:30 PM, the convoy is finally ready and everyone is off.  It is not like the convoys I have seen.  Everyone just races along as fast as they can and everyone is spread out far.  I think the convoy is more just to control who goes into a sensitive area, rather then for the safety of the people.  The desert gets even drier with less vegetation, and becomes more sandy.  At 5:40 PM, we are stopped at another police check point, and it appears that we are waiting for all the vehicles to catch up and be re-assembled.  Once all the vehicles arrive, we head off at 7:15 PM.  After only a 45 minute drive, we arrive at the "parking lot" that we will be camping in over night just near the border.

 

It is not a very pleasant camp site - a lot of people use it  each week, and they do not care how they leave it.  It is very dirty and smelly.  You have to be careful where you walk, put your tent, etc.  We guess it is a blessing that we arrive in the dark.  Other than dinner by the truck, we do not do much this evening.  The nights are still quite cold, in particular with the wind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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