( What is the plural of Oasis? )
I woke just before the dawn this morning to see a beautiful sunrise. After getting packed I was on the move by 7.30.
The road was a long straight one with the occasional potholes but unchanging. I had the desert to my left the sea to my right and a lot of tarmac in front of me. Every now and again the coastline would change and i would see large sand filled inlets that I assume were once full of sea, or go over a bridgeover a dried up river.
Maybe because of the lack of visual interest, the smells were very noticable. I could smell a town kilometers before I reached it. Fishy smells from fishing villages, less pleasant odours from larger towns. Even passing lorries and cars often had a smell of oil or dinner or whatever cargo they had.
Every town had a police road block at the entrance and exit to town. Every one insisted I stopped and showed my passport. I was prepared for this and had 25 copies of a fiche. A bit of paper with all my details on it. This saves waiting for them to go to their desks and writing it all out. I only have a few copies left!! At one town there was a police road block followed 20 meters later by a military one. The military saw me going through the process with the police but still insisted I do it all again with them.
Fuel was an issue today, I went to 3 petrol stations with no petrol. I was sucking fumes by the fourth which had some. This was the first oasis. I was not really worried because I filled up the 5L can a couple of days ago and that would have been enough to get me to the next big town.
I eventually reached a camp site near Dakhla which is absolutely stunning. It is on a headland of sand jutting into the sea. The sand is fine, the sea is blue and it’s free! You just have to take my word for this until I can upload some pictures; this is the second oasis.
Tomorrow I have about 4 hours travel to the Mauritanian border so will get an early start so i can get through by the afternoon.