Friday, 27 December 2013

Day 64 - Point 1 to Point 2 (170 - 180km)

We all woke up fine, finished clearing up the few bits we left out last night. We set off roughly on time. I soon found myself way ahead of the others and could barely see them after what must have been less than 5k. Chris was taking it very slow as was getting paranoid about something going wrong with the bike and wanted to put as little strain on it as possible. This was annoying as it felt like we were crawling along unnecessarily slowly and led to a brief argument between me and him. Chris apologised shortly after and picked up the pace to a normal level. The weather was a bit sunnier today and this was reflected in the temperature (it still wasn't too hot thankfully). We were heading towards Cape Bojador which was the last town before Dakhla. The landscape was still pretty similar except we did spot the odd few camels in the distance. We made it to Bojador without any problems by early afternoon and decided at this point we would try and push on as much as we could today to try and make the last day as short as possible (also spurred on by the prospect of a bed and shower when we got to Dakhla). The edge of Bojador was pretty special with a couple of giant ostrich statues standing either side of the road marking the entrance to the town, and several large lampposts either side of the road leading into the centre. We had to stop for the police check which gave us time to take this in. There were a few friendly police dogs knocking around one of which I remember was called Linda. The check lasted about 15 minutes which was pretty normal. After making our way into the town we quickly found a cafe and stopped for a break, planning to leave in 45 minutes. Chris and Tom stayed at the cafe whilst I went on the hunt for wifi. This was unsuccessful so had to just make do with the standard food session. Despite trying 3 different shops I couldn't find any of the thin quick-cooking noodles that were normally readily available so made do with an overpriced old bag of rice that I saw in the third shop as didn't want to waste any more time looking around. So went back to the cafe and got the gas stove going outside the shop next door that was closed. A couple of kids were asking for money which I refused as was extremely low on money myself and literally every Dirham was needed. Anyway the rice eventually cooked and we ate on the chairs outside the cafe as the owner didn't mind. chris was eating out of his homemade bowl (the bottom half of a cut-in-half 5 litre bottle of water) and his spork (which was the only surviving spork from the start). Tom had to go and buy toilet paper before leaving as there wasn't any in the cafe toilet, I was the only one that had some but would need it for myself as was on my last roll with at least 48 hours until Dakhla where the next toilet was likely to be. We must have left about 45 minutes later than intended and it was probably around 3pm. It had got hotter since we had stopped but still not uncomfortable. A truck with a massive speaker with Islamic music blaring drove past and gave us a wave as we were leaving which was cool. The mid afternoon heat didn't last too long and the riding was back to the relentless stretch of flat straight road with very little change in landscape. We agreed to do the same as yesterday and ride until about 7.15 before stopping and camping. At around this time we saw an antenna with surrounding wall in the distance which was the same kind of thing that we camped next to yesterday so decided we'd pitch up there. When we got there however the ground was crap. There was a small community of houses with a perimeter wall that was out of sight of the main road and we wouldn't have known it was there if we hadn't come over to the antenna. Chris initially wanted to try and remain out of sight and try and camp somewhere behind the wall but changed his mind when he saw a shop open. We went inside and Chris and Tom enjoyed a smoothie whilst I made most of the first normal toilet I had seen in days. They started making some chocolate spread rolls whilst I went outside and set up the tent and got the stove on. I enjoyed some slaggy tuna in the tent (which was in a very prominent position in the middle of some buildings across the road from the shop). I didn't care because it was very quiet and there was virtually nobody around. Shortly after I had set up Chris and Tom came over and did the same, pitching within very close proximity of each other and with the bikes right next to the tents. We must have gone to bed between 10.30-11 and the alarm was set for 6.30.

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