Challenge for 160km, 160kmの挑戦
Since I passed a big town, Dakhla, there were not much traffic during the night. I unexpectedly slept well even though my camp spot was in front of the cafe.


According to an information I found online, there would be a service station 100km from here. That's where I planed to stay for the night.


Crossing Tropic of cancer. I don't think it was accurate though.


Strange plants

After I took off and cycled 45km, I arrived to another service station.
I stopped by for asking information to make sure my information was correct.


I asked workers there. They told me there would be nothing till the service station 160km from this point.
It was strange that my information from Internet is different from what they said.
After awhile, police men came to this station, so I asked them for the same question.
They told me the same as what workers said.


I thought it would be risky to believe Internet information. Cycling for 160km from now was impossible.
I decided to stop here and asked for staying one night. They told me it was not problem and let me stay a room for prayers.


This service station had a sign of restaurant, but they didn't have anything, so I cooked a dinner by own cooking stove.


Next day, It will be the longest distance I needed to make in one day;160km. I woke up 6:30. It's still completely dark outside. Now, the daylight is short. The sun goes up about 7:30 and sets 18:00. I needed to take off as soon as the sun went up.


I left before sun-rise. It was very nice to cycle with watching sun coming up. It was even strong tale wind.


Passing by nice dunes.

The sands of this area was whitish. It made different scenery.


The nice green ocean. A small fishing boat was on his way to fishing point. It's getting closer to my image of Africa.

I got enough time by strong tale wind so had a lunch at a beach.

My usual lunch menu.

I saw many camels.

I took only 7 hours and a bit for 160km. It was twice as easy as when I cycled 145km in head wind.
This is the town named Bir Gandouz, a town 85km from Mauritania border.

伝説の風に大分助けられて、160kmを7時間ちょっとで走り切る事ができた。この前微向かい風で145km走った時の方が倍辛かった。到着したのはBir Gandouzというモーリタニア国境から85kmにある集落。

As i expected, there was the hotel with WiFi. They were located 500m down from the entrance of the town.


It looked expensive fancy hotel but cost only 100DH. This was good deal. They had a restaurant and shop. This place was good point of resting and preparing for Mauritania.

[2013/11/06 18:01 ] | West Sahara (Morocco) | Comments:(1) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Watch out for the scorpion, サソリにご注意
It was really refreshing taking the hot bath last night. My skin was still smooth.
From here, it's about 118km to Dakhla. Normally, cyclists stopped by this city for resting, but I decided not to stop here.


より大きな地図で Cycling West Africa 2 を表示
There were some reasons. As you look at the map, Dakhla is a town in the tip of peninsula. If I want to go there, I need to make 40km side trip. I didn't want that.
Another reason was that there would be a village, where I could buy food and water on my way, so its not necessary to go to Dakhla.
The last reason was for getting online. There would be a hotel with WiFi about 85km before the Mauritania border, so I would be able to check messages before crossing the border.
All of things I wanted to do in Dakhla can be done on my way.


Anyway, today has been started.

I am reaching 40,000km soon. I remembered I had wondered how far people can go by land when I was a little boy about elementary school, At that time, central Asia and Balkan countries had been on conflicts, so I had thought it's impossible for people to go through.
Today, I can come to Africa all the way by land.
I will skip all central part of Africa since there were still many unsafe areas. However, some cyclists have crossed all the way to South Africa by land. It is crazy and very impressive.


Back to my plan for today. I planed to cycle 120km to a village. I hoped I could pitch my tent somewhere there.
After cycling 80km, reached to the intersection with the road goes to Dakhla. I had a police check.

There was a service station with a restaurant and a shop nearby the intersection. I was thinking of drinking coca-cola while riding. However, it was very disappointing both of them had been closed.


1400km to Dakar

from the intersection, I cycled 40km to the my destination of the day. There were some restaurants and shops. I asked a person if I could camp here. However, since this area was inside of military territory, they didn't allow me to stay there.


I found a soldier speaking English after awhile so asked where I could possibly camp.
He told me there would be a service station 4km from here.
Seemed it was only choice I can take for that night. I went to this station and asked for camping. It was not problem.
This station was small, so I first tried to find a spot behind the building. I was checking around and cleaning up a spot where I can avoid the wind.


Then I saw a scorpion!! It was very nasty looking; small and black. It must be a very poisonous.
I decided not to camp on this spot. I eventually pitched my tent in front of the cafe. It would be much safer.

サソリーーー!! うぇ~ 気持ち悪い。小さくて黒くていかにも猛毒持ってそう。こんな場所で野宿して間違って刺されでもしたら明日の朝ミイラになっちまう。仕方ない、今日はガソリンスタンドの表で野宿。背に腹はかえられません。
[2013/11/05 21:02 ] | West Sahara (Morocco) | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
Hot-spring in Sahara, サハラの温泉
I eventually stayed for 2 nights in the service station. There was couple of reasons. One was the wind; the south wind got even stronger next day. Second was second floor of service station where i stayed was pretty comfortable. I thanked a lot for people there letting me stay. I could maintain my bicycle and get my laundry done.


The Next destination was also a service station at 88km from here.

より大きな地図で Cycling West Africa 2 を表示

Desert desert desert. Only I saw was desert. Today was a bit more hills.


There was another service station at 30km from start. Couple of soldiers found me and checked my passport. They were talking on the phone and saying something about me. I didn't care much about it. I checked for the next service station. They told me there would be the one about 60km from here.


After I left here and cycled 50km, I arrived to the town named Anzaran. It was not actual town. It was only basement. The service station where I want to go is still 8km away.
In this town, a guy called me when I just tried to pass through. I thought he was a police or soldier, but seemed he was not. He told me that the soldier I met at the service station in this morning called his phone and asked him to let me stay his place.

ここを出て走る事 50km、Anzaranという建設中の町に着いた。今日宿泊予定のガソリンスタンドはここからさらに8km先にある。すると道路脇からおじさんに呼び止められた。最初またパスポートチェックかと思い止まって話を聞くと、何やら朝軍の人からサイクリストが来るから泊まらせてやってくれと話を受けていたらしい。

I was taken to his place by the highway. In this place, I met couple of soldiers and saw UN sign on the building. Seemed this place was used to belong to united nation.


I found some photos of cyclists inside of the building. He must have had cyclists like me in the past.


He suggested me to take a shower and brought me to a place where pumps were.


As he opened a bulb by a big monkey wrench, a lot of water came out from a pipe. I touched it. It was surprisingly hot. It was a hot spring!! Actually I've smelled of sulfur when I came into the pump room.


The temperature was about 35℃. As it's sulfur spring, it made my skin very smooth after.
Who can expect having a hot spring in sahara desert. It's hard to believe.


I saw some truck drivers stopped by and had a shower here. Seemed some local people knew it.


At this night, he cooked a Tajin. I had been helped so many people these days....


His name was Ahoud. He maintained this basement town.

If any cyclists who saw this blog in the future, this town is a good stop. Dakhla, an another big town in West Sahara, is only 118km away.

[2013/11/04 23:24 ] | West Sahara (Morocco) | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
145km challenge, 145kmへの挑戦
I felt a bit of strangeness of the wind in the morning. The north wind got died down. I was just hoping for it to get strong again in the afternoon otherwise It will be very difficult to cycle the distance to the next safe place to camp. I planed for 145km today to the next service station.


より大きな地図で Cycling West Africa 2 を表示

Moroccan crape in the morning. This might be the last Moroccan crape.

After taking off and have cycled 50km, the north wind was dead and started south east wind which was a head wind. I had carried 14 litters of water and food for couple of days. My bicycle was super heavy. It was very very hard work.

I thought i would turn back to Boujdour. However, other side of my mind told me that this head wind was like a sort of a challenge from a god. I decided to keep on going.


I was playing badminton when I was a high school student. We had many many practices everyday. Especially, when the school was on summer Holliday, we had a very hard summer camp in Karuizawa.
I was thinking of these summer camp when I was cycling. "I can do it, I can do it"


It would be easy for 145km with strong north wind but without, it's very difficult.
The average speed became 11km up to 18km/h. I was pushing hard to make it by the sun-set.


I didn't have time to sit down and have a lunch.

After the noon, it's started raining. This is Sahara. I don't think there were any cyclists who had cycled in rain in Sahara desert.


Kept pedaling for 9 hours and a bit, I finally arrived to the service station. When I saw the buildings on my way, it looked a shining oasis.


I was like a knocked out boxer when I arrived. People welcomed me, and there were coca-cola at the restaurant!! What a nice coca cola it was!!


Moreover, unexpectedly, they had a stock room for workers so let me sleep in comfortable room. It was like a prize from the got to the winner.


The room I stayed. Very clean and nice. Truck drivers and other local people stayed downstairs, so the second floor was all for my space.


At the dinner. the Chicken plate.

Congratulation for the day.
[2013/11/02 18:05 ] | West Sahara (Morocco) | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
West Sahara, 西サハラ
After staying only two nights, I left Laayoune. Its because of that I started wanting to visit Gambia. I have received good information that I will be able to get a double or multiple entry visa for Senegal at the border. That means I can visit to Gambia and come back into Senegal.


From Laayoune, the towns or service stations where I can fill up live-supplies will be a few. I need to move carefully. Next a decent city will be Boujdour which is 190km from here. There, I hope, will be a service station 110km from here, so I planed to camp in this place.


Once I left town, everything around became dry desert again.

After strong wind, the sands covered roads. They need to remove it every time.


I covered all of my body with cloth to avoid strong sun.


I got the strong tale wind again and reached to the service station quickly.


There was a restaurant, so I could have a Tajin.

They let me camp behind the building. It was a nice spot.


Next day, I cycled for 80km to Boujdour.

Why they put a sign of bicycle in middle of desert. I don't think there were any cyclists except I am.
こんな砂漠の真ん中に普通自転車走ってませんから~ 俺以外は

The strong wind still helped me, so I got to Boujdour by noon. There were so many flags of Morocco. Ive heard that they would have a festival soon. A lots of police men were there as well for the same reason.
In that night, I saw a man screaming and saying "something Sahara", and then as soon as he passed the road in front of the restaurant where I had a dinner, many police men and crowd came to this men. It was a very weird moment. This showed the current situation of issue between Morocco and West Sahara.


West Sahara was used to be a part of Spanish territory. After Spain abandoned West Sahara, it was ruled by Morocco and Mauritania. Polisario supported by Algeria came to this point for independency. They, at the beginning, attacked to Mauritania. Eventually, Mauritania abandoned its' territory. Meanwhile, Morocco sent their troops to this part and occupied all over the West Sahara. Since 1979, West Sahara has been occupied.


After some negotiations by united nation, they made an agreement to hold an erection for independency, but it has never been true yet. Morocco government has been building so many infrastructures in this region to make established facts. That makes things more complicated.
In short, West Sahara is in same situation as Tibet where Chinese government has been abusing Tibet culture.


The thing I saw in Boujdour was showing a part of this issue. There had been some insurrection in this region. This is an unstable area.

[2013/10/31 19:47 ] | West Sahara (Morocco) | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
The legendary Wind, 伝説の風
There is the legendary wind in Sahara. Many cyclists had been helped by this wind blowing from North.


I had been normally getting north west wind, so it had been strong side wind and a little bit of tale wind for me so far.


From Tarfya, the road starts going south. I felt strong north wind in the morning. When I reached to the main highway, the strong north wind had started pushing me. I was like an airplane. The speed was getting faster and faster. Then my average speed became 27km/h.


As my legs got strong enough, the speed became 30km/h average. This is the legendary wind.


I cycled 50km very quickly, and crossed the border of West Sahara. There was only a monument of the border in the town, Tah.


Tah was like a small community. They had a few shops and restaurants. I bought a bottle of Coca-Cola for the lunch.

There were nothing changed after getting into West Sahara. Only change was the wing got even stronger.


This day, I cycled 110km in 4.5h and arrived to Laayoune. 100km makes normally 6h riding for me, so I will be able to make 150km in one day easily if this strong north wind keeps blowing. I should think about the schedule of the day in depending on how the wind is.


In Laayoune, I had planed to have some resting. I didn't have anything important to do except printing out some documents for Senegal visa.

I couldn't believe how there were everything in such a town in middle of desert.

They had a big market streets.

A lots of vegetables and frouts.

A camel sitting on a street.

I found a strange looking "Japanese pudding" made in Morocco at a supermarket.

Babies hanged up from the roof.

They had plenty of cheap restaurant.

Seemed there were even more jobs in Laayoune than other town in north; many constructions going on. I saw a lots of men with big luggages.

[2013/10/29 23:33 ] | West Sahara (Morocco) | Comments:(0) | Trackbacks:(0) | page top↑
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