Surgery in the back of the Truck

Trip Start Mar 07, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Western Sahara  ,
Friday, April 3, 2009

Left the relative civilisation of Marrakesh for the unknown of the Sahara Desert region of Southern Morocco, known as Western Sahara. It is recognised by United Nations as a Government in Exile and has caused problems with Morocco and its neighbour Algeria.

First stop is the tourist town of Essouria which is a couple of hours drive to the West.Interesting that on the way there were some goats in the trees. I think they were put there by some of the locals who wanted money for the privalge of seeing them from the road, they got nothing. Essouria is a nice town with lots of things that would interest tourists. I bought a couple of CDs of Arabic music from one of the local sellers.

Lunch on the main plaza.

After several hours of wandering the city it was time to head to camp. Tonight we had a great location on the beach just a short drive from the city. Great sunset from the tent overlooking the cold Atlantic Ocean.

The Police Checks are getting more common and take longer as we get close to the border, they are a pain in the arse and the corruption sucks.

The push south into the Western Sahara. The landscape is getting drier and the vegetation more spare by the day. It is now common to see camels wandering by the side of the road and large moving sand dunes. We camped several nights in Western Sahara, including a night near a large set of sand dunes several kilometers inland from the coast, another camp full of scorpions and one that had winds strong enough to make cooking and generally being outside a pain in the arse.

Our last night in Western Sahara and we were on cooking duties.Lene was head chef on this occasion and Mexican was the meal planned, all dependent on what we could get. Friday is the Arabic equivalent of Sunday for us and a lot of the stalls in the market were closed. A friendly local named Aziz offered to take us to the market. He took us to the local butcher to purchase the meat for the meal. Camel was the specialty of the region so we decided to get a couple of kilos of minced camel meat. The cut of meat that he was putting in the mincer looked very good quality. Next we purchased all the vegetables and fruit for breakfast.

Our camp site was several hours drive away from Dakla on a very sandy section of desert with a fierce wind blowing that covered everything with sand in a short time and made the fire a nightmare to try and cook with. Our Mexican meal took quite a long time to make and with threats of sand making the meal unpalatable it was finally served after about 3-4 hours of cooking, normally it should have taken 1-2. It was well received but served at about 9.30pm, which is way past most peoples bedtime on this trip.

During cooking Lene went to the toilet and took a fall on her knee causing it to bleed. I saw some blood on her knee and she said she was OK. Later after dinner I had a look at the knee and it was a very deep cut, I thought it would need stitches so I woke up Doctor Phil who inspected it and decided it needed a good clean and some stitches. 3 stitches in total. There was a large stone stuck in the wound. Local Anesthetic was used. By midnight it was time for bed. Now its time to head to Mauritania.
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