Tafraoute to Laayoune

The day to Laayoune went fearly quick on paved roads. We started out looking for the Blue rocks painted by a Belgian artist in 1984, but it was still so dark outside that this project was skipped, and we continued towards the city of Guelmim.

Stopped at a supermarket that pretty much had anything except beer. After that it was pretty much main road from north to south towards the southern provinces (that is what Moroccans call Western Sahara). The territory was annexed by Morocco after the Spanish withdrew in 1975. Approaching the “border”, the police checkpoints where shorter between, and we had to start handing over Fiches (something that we had read about, but not experienced so far). We arrived in Laayoune in the afternoon as the first car and went to check out the race hotel by the sea. It looked like the run down buildings seen in the original Miami Vice series as the location of a drug lord. Completely run down and not even a sign on the front door. Bjørn started to bet me if we were at the right location, so I had to go inside to take a look. It was completely empty except a guy sitting low behind the counter asking me if we had a reservation. No furniture nothing. This was also the night it was stated in the race book that it was perfect to sleep out in the desert. Therefore we drove back a bit and tried to look for a secluded place to make camp in the desert dunes. Near the hotel it was not a lot a big dunes, so we didn’t really see a perfect place that was completely hidden.

The best place was towards the beach and the sea and not inland. We drove down and put up the tents just minutes before the sun settled and ate in the dusk. Shortly afterwards we got a visit from two men strolling towards us on the beach in green army clothes asking for a Fiche and wishing us a good night. It was kind of windy the whole time, and I fell asleep with the roaring sound of the big ocean waves hitting the beach and the wind flapping the tent.

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