Friday, 27 December 2013

Day 65 - Point 2 to Point 3 (170km)

We slept well that night despite our prominent position. Woke up fine as usual as did Chris and Tom and we set off on time. This place really had the feel of a ghost town with nobody around and no sign of life in the morning - not that it was much busier last night. This would be a pretty dull day with much of the same roads that we had for the previous two days and not passing through any towns. It was a bit cloudier than it had been before and even a bit misty. We had been told that there was a petrol station at roughly the halfway point between Bojador and Dakhla so thought that this would be the only stop of the day. Our plan was to stop for a break halfway between where we'd started and this petrol station which must have been around the 50-60km mark. However after about 40km we came across this little town that wasn't on the map and had barely been signposted. There was a petrol station so naturally Chris wanted to stop. The petrol station was filthy and there were a lot of flies. After asking one of the few people around about being able to get some food/coffee from the cafe we were told that the cafe was closed but the petrol station shop could be opened. So this man ambled off to wake up the guy who worked in the shop. After about 10 minutes we had had enough of waiting and were about to leave. Then the man reappeared and told us the guy who worked in the shop was just coming. So we waited a few more minutes and the shop finally opened. It wasn't good - there was a very limited choice of stuff and I think Tom and Chris ended up getting a small carton of juice and chocolate bar each. I think I had some bread and chocolate spread that I had in one of my pannier bags. We than sat in the fly infested forecourt to digest these as quickly as possible. I said that this place was like the Keld of The Western Sahara (referencing back to when we all did Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk the previous year) which Chris and Tom both laughingly agreed with as it was a crap little town in the middle of nowhere. Anyway the day had brightened up since earlier and it was a nice ride between here and the petrol station with a few little hills as the day progressed, which was a welcome change from the flat. We got to the petrol station in pretty good time and went in to see what food they had. We weren't expecting much and weren't surprised when we saw what was on offer (although it was better than the town from earlier). I got some teacakes as there was no bread (more expensive and less filling but no other options), a big carton of juice and some chocolate. Chris bought a load of coffee sachets as they didn't do coffee, along with a few other bits. There were no charging points inside but was one outside so went outside to plug stuff in. Meanwhile a policeman was doing a passport check inside and Chris and Tom were eating at a table. I stayed outside as there were a number of guys staring and didn't trust leaving the charging electronics unattended. So I grabbed a chair from just inside the door and sat at an outside table eating the cupcakes with chocolate spread. The policeman then came out and handed my passport back and Chris and Tom soon came out too. There were flies everywhere - not exactly a pleasant experience. Anyway after the food and coffee (via the stove) we pushed on. We saw a truck of camels outside on our way out which was a bit random. The rest of the days' cycling was very uneventful and we agreed to stick to the routine of starting to look for somewhere to stop at around 7.15 and camping. Around this sort of time we saw a suitable looking antenna/wall and went over. There were a pack of dogs which didn't look particularly menacing but Chris and Tom were put off so we went back to the road and carried on. Time was now of the essence and there weren't any other antennas/walls in the distance, so we stopped by the side of the road a short distance away (far enough away from the dogs) behind a few mounds of sand. I wasn't very keen on this spot so wandered a bit further away from the road to see what I could find. We were by the sea and there was a continuous cliff which kind of stepped down to the water in places where the rocks had gradually broken away. This presented a spectacular camp spot a short distance down. It was an easy walk down to the spot so I went back to the others to let them know I was gonna camp there. They had set the tents up and were staying put, so I made my way back to my spot and set up the tent. I positioned the tent next to a twiggy bush to get a bit of extra wind protection which worked relatively well. It was dark by the time the tent was up so opted to cook inside the tent with my bike light as a torch, with just the outer door open for a bit if ventilation. There wasn't a lot of space but this worked well. After the food I needed a wee but didn't wanna get sandy feet so simply kneeled upright at the door of the tent and went - an advantage of being on my own in a secluded spot. After that I went to bed, alarm set for the standard 6.30 with only 107km to go to Dakhla tomorrow.

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