0246. The Gate of the Sahara (Morocco 094--new)

Tan-Tan Travel Blog

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Scorpions is a music video with clips from Tan Tan, etc.

Episode 01: Morocco to Gambia

 The plan was to head off on a magnificent 3 week overland African adventure on December 25... I had my visa to Mauritania...my bags packed... And then ended up in a nasty little tussle with a previous landlord that pretty much put my life on hold for a week...

When that finally cleared up, it seemed like there was no sensible way that I could think of going all the way across the Sahara and back in time--but I knew I had to go SOMEWHERE... so I grabbed my bag and headed out the door...

As I wait for the city bus to the intercity bus terminal, it suddenly strikes me that I HAVE to make that trip down to Black Africa--even if it means just going down and turning around and coming back.

.. I've been looking forward to parkbenching a whole new Mega-region for so long that I know if I don't do it, I will start this year off with a bitter taste in my mouth...

...the bus to Tan Tan, the "gateway to the Sahara" leaves at 5 PM... I arrive at the bus station at 4:58... And I’m off...

...Marrakech... Agadir... Tiznit... on into the night... Then somewhere past Goulmime, the sun rises on the vast emptiness--with freckles of green... apparently, even the desert has gotten extra rain this year...

As we approach Tan Tan, I immediately know where I have to take my clip--in front of the two camel statues that are guarding the entrance to Tan Tan.  So when the bus gets stopped by the Gendarme police, I get off to backtrack to the camels.

  They are a bit curious as to why a guy is wandering off towards the empty desert with a guitar slung over his shoulder, but when I explain my mission, they quickly understand.  Gotta have clip with the camels...

Back into town, through a rather sleepy industrial area and Main Street.  I head off the explore the back street where locals stare at me with puzzled looks.  Seems to be a mix of Berber and Saharawi culture. I continue on through town, down to an almost dry river bed where I play my set under the shade of a tree.  Moroccan coastal towns are typically painted blue--and desert towns are painted a pinkish brown... Tan Tan has a bit of both.

Off to the east, I find a much more lively neighborhood with a market and a long, street lined with shops of every sort... At the very end of it was the transport terminal with buses, grand taxis and creaky old Land Rovers (It's like a 'second bus' one of the drivers boasts) heading north, the civilization and south and east, deep into the Sahara. All around are cheap little hotels for weary folks needing a rest.  I am undecided as to whether I will take the grand taxi or cram into the cheaper Land Rover... I figure I'd go with whichever fills up first... Taxi it was...

I liked Tan Tan... a dreamy sort of "in between worlds" sort of vibe...


Koralifix says:
Congrats on this feature! Great job!
Posted on: Jul 26, 2009
Dalmia says:
What an incredible adventure!! Nathan, your blog is the only one I've ever bookmarked on TB!! It's a great read! Congratulations on the feature!
Posted on: Jul 25, 2009
montecarlostar says:
Hey Nathan congrats on your feature!! Good job!!
Posted on: Jul 25, 2009
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