The last week before the end of Ramadan is running calm. The days are filled with small walks to the village to do some shopping. For the rest I am busy with updating my photo material in the shade of two palm trees and my awning. The neighbors, Ulli and Marianne, invite me every night to have dinner with them. Marianne can thus also show others her excellent cooking. They wait here for a few days for their visa extension. By default you have a visa for three months. After that you can get an extension for another three months, which is a complicated and lengthy affair.
In Tafraout Eid is a setback. Together with Ulli and Marianne we go out to eat, but most restaurants still don’t serve any meals. Yes, one can have a drink. After some searching it is possible in a hotel, but unfortunately we are the only guests. On a square in the village only mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers with their (grand) children are playing around .It appears that the Eid is celebrated only within the family at home, at least here in Tafraoute. Possible that in larger cities it is celebrated exuberantly.
Our roads divide here . Ulli and Marianne go to Zagora looking for a garage that should fix an annoying rattling under the truck and I leave for Guelmim little further south and towards Tan Tan, what will be my most southerly point in Morocco. This because of the heat. Otherwise I would have gone further south .
The road to Tan Tan is boring, hot and of poor quality.The sides are eroded so that you regularly end up in the stony embankment when passing oncoming traffic. So… careful! . In the heat the concentration is also not optimal. Also in Tan Tan , there is not much to do , so I drive to Tan Tan Plage on the coast. It’s foggy and there blows a stiff breeze . Normal for this time of year , I hear later.
Campsites here offer no shade . In that respect, I have nostalgia for the campsite in Tafraoute .
Looking for a convenient camping place I stumble upon a pleasant restaurant with terrace on the beach. I decide to eat a tasty fish (long time missed in the desert). While waiting I look at my downloaded map of the ‘Maps.Me’ app on my mobile and find a bit more north a “Bivouac Libre” at the mouth of the river Draa . Sounds interesting to me as a stopover. It can only be reached via a track.
At the beginning of the run, I am stopped again at a police control. Not the first time today, because we are not far from the disputed ‘Western Sahara’ , the former ‘Spanish Sahara’ where the Polisario still lays claim to.This time I am not allowed to continue. The officer informs me that just on my route from tomorrow there will be a US-Moroccan military exercise. Pity. Then try another route. Also there my road is blocked. Now it is getting annoying. I would so much like to reach that tantalizing spot. Eventually I drive back to Tan Tan where I find a track on the ‘Maps.Me’app that goes via a detour to my coveted spot. This time I meet no more checkpoints. So, the coast is clear ,I guess.
And what a road it is! Again, it going to be an endurance for Piggy. The route goes through dry riverbeds and stony tracks so I hurled into the cabin from left to right. As it has become quite late, I’m very tired and Piggy increasingly cracks when tilting to the right, I decide to make my camp in the desert .
Within half an hour an army Toyota stops in front of me. An officer (judging by his uniform and his perfect French) asks me very politely what I’m doing here and how I ended up here for God’s sake, because no one can find the right path here. A little embarrassed, I show him my phone showing the detailed map of Maps.Me. He finds it all very exciting and asks if he can make pictures of Piggy, which is not unusual, what I’ve noticed over the past 3 months. I do not know if the pictures end up in his private collection, or that I am now part of a military file for non-hazardous vehicles. SO DO NOT SHOOT!In any case, I have to leave here since early morning the military exercise starts. I give him my business card I leave in the dark back to Tan Tan. I’m up against it because it is a 2-3 hour trip with a growing creaking Piggy.
At 10 o’clock I find a spot just outside Tan Tan where I can make my camp. Of course slept like an ox.
From now on I skip the coastal route to Sidi Ifni and follow the same road of yesterday back to Guelmim and turn off towards the coast. I now find myself in a completely different landscape. The hills to Sidi Ifni are completely covered with cactus plantations. It now seems to be the right time for you regularly meet stalls along the way to buy the cactus fruits (pricky pears) I stop especially for children who offer them for sale in their buckets, because they like it so much that such a large foreign truck just stop at their stall. Invariably they double the price. But they go on without problems at the regular price and for less than a euro I leave with a full bag of pricky pears with one extra as a gift.
Again, on the coast it is foggy and, luckily, cooler.I find a beautiful spot on a cliff overlooking the sea.
The next day Sidi Ifni and Mirleft are visited. In the last village it is necessary to remedy the horrific creaking of Piggy. The support frame of the cab appears to be broken on one spot. 2 hours disassembling, welding and assembling again and the problem solved again.
Without cracking I reach a nice campsite just outside Agadir where I can relax in the pool.
Currently I stay at the foot of the High Atlas, in the village Immouzar Ida Ou Tanane, known for its beautiful waterfall, which is now completely dry.I’m not here voluntarily, but because I once again have problems with the truck. This time, brake / air problems. The day before yesterday has already been a mechanic from Aga-dir already inpected, diagnosed and dismantled a airpump. The pump must be replaced or repaired. Of course an obsolete part which is not just in stock. Meanwhile, I’m here for the 3rd day. It can be a lot more there. Hopefully tomorrow the mechanic comes back with a proper spare part. Inshallah!
(P.s. Because of the extreme heat in the cockpit all GPS routes after Tafraoute are destroyed. Very pityful. So you can’t follow this stretch on the map)