sideways flying dragonflies

Laayoune Travel Blog

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The big crater 55 m below sealevel

We meet the real gatekeeper of the sahara in Tunisia on a previous trip, on a previous failed attept to ride the dessert. He turned out to be a cat in a desserted caffe 40 km along a dissapearing dirt track into nothing.

But the city of goulmime claims to be the gateway so the cat was a long way from home. Goulmime is indeed the last city. On the other side the road became the scene for a travelling circus of car ralleys, home made dessert-jeep-caravans and enormous coca cola trucks. The dessert there stinks as it is dumping ground for fish water from the trucks. Enough to make you vomit at times. All not part of the plan but as our bikes now look a good part of the travelling circus we feelt happily excited as we joined them.

Julian after vretrieving stolen camera in tarfaya
 Our act would be the victorian outing as we have added a blue and white parasol and an enourmes foodbag to our luggage. On top of that there is the usual mess of bags and bungees and water and towels and drying laundry. 

Initially the ride was tough;The winds weren't going the right way and knowing that we can only complete this 3000 km journey with the wind behind us it was a daunting prospect. But onwards. In tan tan plage - a fishing village some 100 km into the dessert we meet up with Julian, a geographer eager to join our travelling circus and now all three of us are sailing down south on tailwinds.

600 km further south the traffic has eased of and the dessert has changed from being a smelly playground to a seriously beautifull and remote place.

The landscape changes between yellow dunes, beaches with cliffs and enormos waves, shrubby endlessness and even large kraters with salt lakes. Just as we were practicing camel and donkey impressions a herd of wild camels past us. Even a white one! Other than that there are salamanders and flamingos and at times i'm being overtaken by sideways flying dragonflies blow of curse by the wind.  

Julian has shaken us out of our lazy mornings and we start our rides around 9 am after tea and breakfast. Appart from tailwinds my ride depends on elevenses and every day at eleven we eat urgent sandwiches under our parasol (if tailwind isn't too strong). Then we go on too lunch, some sort of a midday break and finally camping. Inbetween all these breaks we generally manage to ride about 120 km pr day.  In the evenings we have fires if there is wood and if we hadn't run out of whiskey and if my gran was with me in a sidecar, it would be perfect indeed. But as it is, it is good too.  


mcheema says:
come to pakistan! :)
Posted on: Feb 19, 2009
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The big crater 55 m below sealevel
The big crater 55 m below sealevel
Julian after vretrieving stolen ca…
Julian after vretrieving stolen c…
photo by: roadtrampz