Western Sahara

Day 14: Western Sahara and Two Oasis

( 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.

3 replies on “Day 14: Western Sahara and Two Oasis”

I remember Police and military stops in The Gambia well. Go through this every time I travel to Soma to the BNS nursery. And yes military and police are not to be mistaken as doing the same job even though they appear to be doing so and only yards down the road.
Don’t forget any papers – they can be quite touchy when they want to be.

So glad you decided to write these blogs. It is lovely to be able to share vicariously in your adventure from the safety of my living room. Keep them coming. Bet your heart was beating at all those checkpoints xx

We read your blog every morning and are really enjoying it. Cos you may not have time we Googled the plural of Oasis….it’s Oases !!

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