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  1. #71
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    May 2012
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    604

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    You managed to update while I was looking at the first post.

    Looking at the dirt left on the roof makes me wonder if you got rain or mud. The Lighthouse looks like it is covered by a good number of antennas.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    The close ups of the camels trying to play bumper cars with you are something.
    Do I detect a slight hint of jealousy as you only get to play bumper cars over there with the Moose?

    Still with those guys I am very glad the front brakes are still working OK!

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    1,901

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssicarman View Post
    You managed to update while I was looking at the first post.

    Looking at the dirt left on the roof makes me wonder if you got rain or mud. The Lighthouse looks like it is covered by a good number of antennas.
    I just came back from the campsite office where the man inside tells me it was rain coming down through a dusty atmosphere while the 'hammering' on the roof of the 'TinTent' and no doubt 'Flamenco Red' was caused by 'Hailstones' (Small balls of ICE!).

    'Flamenco Red' this morning looks absolutely filthy!

    You are correct about the antennas on the lighthouse, but I guess it is only to be expected being inside a military compound, with that height you could 'talk' to someone below the Equator no doubt!

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Boujdour – Tarfaya (With a twist!)…..

    As the wind started up again this morning we decided to push on North to Tarfaya and Villa Bens Campsite in the hope that the weather would improve, I think we got that wrong. ....

    After stopping for bread as we left the campsite in Boujdour we then turned left onto the main N1 through the town….



    Coming very shortly to the town ‘gates’and the first Police Checkpoint of the day….



    A rather boring road to travel along with the odd fuel station as travel, but the majority can only offer cold drinks or hot tea as they have no coffee machines….



    As you travel along you start to see quite large sand dunes appear on both sides of the road while the surrounding area is flat scrubland…..





    Another broken down coach, but this one is up to the middle of its rear wheels in sand and there is no one there with it…..



    Further along we see those bulk carrier ships again but as the weather is a bit clearer we can stop, zoom in and get a picture…..



    This is the terminal that they load up at….



    While the cargo is ‘Phosphates’ from this mound that looks a bit like an overgrown Submarine!…..



    With some of the ‘processing’ section of the works around the back...



    As we pass some of the houses close to the port of Laayune Plage….



    Then the water tower….



    With the gates to Laayune Plage just a little bit further along.....



    While a bit further along are these houses….



    As we get close to the city of Laayune which we passed through on the way down, TOMTOM with a twist, decides to take us a different way back as we reach this traffic island and head off on the coast road instead of the N1 main road!….



    Thought these might have been old hangers for aircraft, but there was no sign of an airfield to go with them!…..



    Best bit of road we have seen in miles, but a bit windy and sand blown!…..





    Seems like the sand drifts very quickly around here judging by the height of it along the wall of this compound….



    With scrubland on both sides of the road...



    Then we run through a rain shower!……



    With a variety of fishermen’s ‘huts’ alongside the road….









    While this one was an Army/Police Post but no sign of a checkpoint…



    Caught up with a Truck, but keeping well back from his vortex of sand….



    More sand dunes, but this time bigger….



    While the ‘sticking up’ bits in the next picture is another shipwreck on the beach….



    Now comes the ‘narrow’ bit which is constantly being dug out by a digger….







    With another section that had just been cleared out….



    A little bit later along the road I get ‘flashed’ by a Moroccan Truck who is in a hurry, so I slow down and let him go past then he pushes his way past the truck in front of us, absolute nutcase!….



    Another large sand dune…..



    But at the end is this Army/Police Hut which it seems was built in the wrong place either that or the requisition for the Shovel has been misplaced as the sand is already up to the door!...



    As we finally get back to the Ferryboat that ran aground just outside Tarfaya...



    As we cover the last couple of kilometres to the campsite we see this covering that is laid in the sand dunes to try and stop them moving…..



    Now on the campsite and the wind is howling around us, so will have to see what tomorrow is like as there is no electricity or Wi-Fi here to check the weather out.

    Managed to get 'online' while outside it is raining quite heavily, so that might wash some of the dirt off the 'TinTent' and 'Flamenco Red'!

    Off tomorrow to a couple of places which are 'Wild Camping' places so no update for at least 2 days......Sorry!

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Tarfaya to the Hot Spring!…..

    Oh what a night!
    The howling wind, sandstorms and rain just don’t seem to stop lately…
    Rocked to sleep and then rocked awake as the howling wind picked up again this morning along with the sand hitting the back of the ‘TinTent’ as we debated whether to push on or wait another day and see if it got any better.

    In the end we decided to push on to the National Park and Lake Nilia, as the small palm trees at Villa Bens campsite bent in the wind….



    Although it was very windy as we came out of the campsite gates, the road was good with little traffic on it and the wind was hitting us at an angle so we could roll along OK….



    Then, the good road ran out and we came to the roadworks….





    While 500 yards further on the rain started to come down again….





    As we then found drifted sand forming mounds across the road where it had been blown and stuck when it got wet.
    If you go over these at speed they can wreck your suspension as well as toss things around in the ‘TinTent’ sometimes with breakages!…..







    While some LARGE puddles started to form in which you didn’t know if there was a deep hole lurking to drop a wheel into and blow out a tyre!...



    As we come into the town of Akhfennir, spot a Café and stop for coffee….





    But not at this place as the multi-coloured chairs were a bit wet!....













    Garage just outside the town….



    Downward slope to bridge on river crossing in which the river was not that high...







    While further along you come rather close to the edge of the cliffs, with a Fisherman on the edge in the corner, but at least it had stopped raining for now!....



    As the road then moves away from the cliffs a bit more we come to the junction for the National Park and Lake Nilia, but the rain is hammering down so we decide to press on and see if it is any better at the ‘Hot Spring’.

    Downward slope again to next river crossing….





    While on the other side a short way along at the top of the hill was this Hay Truck but his load was covered in a large tarpaulin….



    Not sure but possibly a new security hut….



    As we get to the next downhill run I have to be careful as we want to make a left hand turn at the bottom onto a piste road up to the ‘Hot Spring’ but there is a car right behind, so I slow down and in true driving style even on single white line which is NO Overtaking, he pulls out and comes through!
    Defensive Driving over here is a must ….



    The after the turn we are going up the muddy bit to join the other campers at the top….



    As we get set up while the rain has stopped this herd of sheep and goats comes through complete with a Pack Mule and Herdsman….



    Then as I see one of the campers come away with a washing bowl with water in it, we spot the ‘Hot Spring’!
    Which to be honest is warm but not hot…..





    I hope you can make out the ‘Air Bubbles’ coming up through the water in the next picture….



    While this is what it looked like under the water as the bottom of the pool was bubbling up. The air bubbles are the little bits of blue in the next pictures…..





    While on the other side of the area under a large concrete cover is a Cold Fresh Water Spring that is drinkable, as the Warm Water Spring is just above ‘Flamenco Red’ in the next picture...





    Water with plastic container to lift it out of the well…..



    On a bright sunny day this would be a really nice place to stay for a couple of days, with possibly some sea fishing….





    While the rain and wind once again returned in force, as you walked outside if you had to, you grew in height by a couple of inches thanks to the mud that stuck to the bottom of your shoes!

    I think that for us 1 night here will be sufficient, although we have just had a Police visit requesting a copy of the ‘Fische’ that we have printed and brought with us with all our details on.
    Once that was provided we were told that it was OK to stay for as long as we wanted and if we had any problems to pay them a visit as they have a checkpoint just back up the road, but we are perfectly safe.

    Next stop tomorrow is El Ouatia, let’s hope for a calmer day!

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    Warm Spring to El Ouatia!…..

    The rain finally ceased very late on in the day, while the wind continued until the small hours of the following morning as that’s the time I finally fell asleep!

    While this morning I went back to the ‘Warm Spring’ for some more of the water (a) to wash the breakfast dishes as it worked on the dishes used last night, and (b) to get some for a ‘human wash’ which was rather nice as the soap lathered up very well unlike what we had in the tank which left a salty taste on your lips!….

    The bottle of ‘warm clear spring water’!



    As we looked down onto where the river goes into the sea we spotted a Heron on the sand hoping no doubt to be lucky for breakfast….



    Then, it was time for the ‘Off’ but before we could go ‘Flamenco Red’ decides to give me an error on the dashboard!
    “Coolant Water LOW STOP ENGINE”!

    That bottle of warm spring water was not finished yet as a final pint of it went into the Engine Coolant Water, then the error message disappeared and we were finally off down the slippery piste back to the NI and North to El Ouatia which was not very far away….



    Having turned left onto the N1, as we go over the bridge on the river we see a couple of Cormorants one of which is ‘drying out’ as its wings are wide open….



    Not very far and we come to the water treatment works for El Ouatia which we are glad to see as all the ‘fresh water’ that has been provided from Tarfaya to Dakhla has a really salty taste to it which makes any tea or coffee not very nice so we have been using mineral water, but now we can return to using the tap water in El Ouatia providing it’s boiled before drinking, while the water tank in the ‘TinTent will be cleaned out as well! ….



    Under 5miles to go!.....



    As we see some of the El Ouatia Fishing Boats in the Port…..



    Entrance to Camping Atlantique….



    Inside the campsite which also has rooms to rent and a restaurant under construction….





    Got set up and after some cleaning up on both the ‘TinTent’ and ‘Flamenco Red’ although the heavy rain had washed a lot of dirt off we heard ‘banging’ coming from the other side of a Camper parked next to us.
    Investigation showed us a 320 Mercedes having it’s 3 Litre Engine replaced ‘Moroccan style’….

    In the next picture, the old ‘dead’ engine is still in the car, while the replacement engine is under the wooden trellis that will be used to lift out the ‘dead’ engine and then lift the replacement to slot it in!



    The car belongs to the campsite owner and this will be the second replacement engine to be fitted….

    The ‘dead’ engine still in place!....



    As we are here for a few days, progress or possibly lack of it will be viewed on a frequent basis, while I am keeping my fingers crossed that the wooden beams hold together and stay upright!

    But at least it has been a dry, warm and virtually windless day today!

  7. #77
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    604

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    Gad that the weather has improved for you. Who would have though that rain would cause travel issues in the near Sahara desert.

    Recently had to replace (old one was no longer there) my first serpentine belt on a 320 like the one in your pictures. Took me a little bit to realize that the belt was supposed to run on both sides of the water pump pulley. Had the belt on right the first time but then looked at it and convinced my self that it could not be right that way. A few tries later I realized that I had right the first time. Comes under the heading of lose and learn.

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    While that bit from Laayune to Dakhla is called the Western Sahara, we saw more Dromedaries in that part than we have seen on other trips in other areas.

    Having said that it is a lot more barren than I expected, and if you stop anywhere to take a break as other drivers go past you they 'Hoot' basically asking if you are OK as the distances between places is so great.

    I went over to have another look at the 'Merc' last night and found that while they had removed the 'dead' engine it looked like a couple of pints of milk had come out of the torque converter as the automatic transmission fluid was white!

    I was always under the impression that this fluid was red in colour?

    They also have had to swap the transmission as the replacement was from a manual gearbox while this is automatic!

    It will be interesting to see how things go today

  9. #79
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    El Ouatia, first full day back here…..

    Rather lazy morning with a bit of clothes washing followed by some grocery shopping in the town.

    As we set off to go into town we spotted these shorts and the arms of a T shirt hanging out of the window of the camper on our right and thought for a minute that it had been broken into and the thief had had his shorts taken down in the process!....



    Had to stop off at one of the local Cafes in the town for a nice cup of Arabic coffee and also to take in the view on a nice warm, cloudless non windy day….







    After finishing the coffee we started to make our way over to a small shop to see if they had a fitting to go on the end of the waste water pipe in the ‘TinTent’ as it looks like a stone has been thrown up and smashed the one that was fitted, and we see these three dogs and a cat who are also having a lazy day!….



    Shopping completed, and as luck would have it I actually got the plastic fitting for the waste water pipe, then it was back to the campsite to see what progress had been made on the Merc with the ‘dead’ engine.....

    WOW! The replacement is in place, but……



    Looking down the front behind the Radiator, there is a Spark Plug acting as a ‘stopper’ in a rubber pipe that comes through…..



    While they had the engine running, the Diesel fuel was being supplied from a 5ltr Plastic Mineral Water Bottle (Ringed) and the Engine Coolant Hose was made up with a plastic piece of household waste pipe and a grey plastic 90 degree ‘elbow’ pipe (Also Ringed)!….



    I think they have some way to go yet as there are a number of items still not in place, while getting the engine started was carried out with a BIG battery and large crocodile clips, one connected to the starter motor, and the other to the bodywork!....

    Let’s hope that the sunshine continues tomorrow so that the guys can keep on with the re-building of the Merc!

  10. #80
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    Nov 2009
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    South Wales UK
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    Overland to Morocco.
    Winter 2014-2015


    El Ouatia - Tighmeght…..

    After a totally lazy second day and third night at Camping Atlantique in El Ouatia where we finally heard the ‘dead’ Merc come to life, it was time to get back on the road to our next place which was to have been ‘Auberge Touristic’ in Zriouila.

    As we set off we firstly had to get past this totally overloaded and extremely slow truck which crawled up the hills going out of El Ouatia….



    Then having passed the 60Kmph Radar Trap which is one of the regular places on the road to TanTan we get over the misty/dusty hills as the wind has risen and drop down to the city coming to the first Police Checkpoint….



    Reaching the city gates on the outside of the river……



    We pass over the river and see the amount of greenery still in evidence, but there has been some more heavy rain since the storms in November 2014…



    As we then pass through the city centre….





    Out of the city and for a while the road is half decent in both width and covering with no potholes…..





    Passing over another river bridge again the amount of greenery is somewhat surprising....





    Don’t know what happened here, but I saw that the wheel on the Driver’s side (LHD) was up in the air, while the nearside rear tyre was not flat, but seemed to be stuck in a deep rut…..



    Large Water Towers and Mobile Comms Mast…..



    Even staying well back from this Truck I could see another ‘Air Filter’ cleaning session ahead for me when we got to the next halt….



    Diesel Oil for sale in Plastic Drums…..



    Not sure if the Renault Car was the café owners vehicle…..



    Another ‘Roadside Café’ but no Coffee only soft drinks & Tea….



    The good road finally ran out so now we have to play ‘Dodge the side bits that are missing and the potholes while also staying out of the way of the oncoming traffic!....



    We finally reach the right hand turn for the road to take us to the ‘Auberge Touristique’ which is tarmac for 2Km and then 1Km of ‘piste’ and the tarmac was better than the main road!...



    Over the river and still on tarmac…..



    And then we came to the ‘piste’…..



    Which got worse….



    And worse….





    So much so that although I am sure ‘Flamenco Red’ could and would have travelled over it, the clearance under the ‘TinTent’ was not good enough to clear some of the ‘lumps’ or get across some of the gulleys….



    So after a bit of manoeuvring to turn the outfit around while still staying hooked up which was a bit of fun…..

    It was back the way we came to the main road…..





    As we then headed to the next planned stop which was to be Camping De L'OASIS which is a new campsite for us and is on the far side of Guelmim, we could not help notice the amount of rubbish in the fields alongside the road that was carried from the city in the flash floods in November….



    While repair work to the rainwater/river gullies on both sides of the road continues….







    Hay lorries as it was Market Day which includes the Camel Market…..



    As we wanted to pay a visit to the Marjane Supermarket, TomTom planned a ‘City Tour’ via some rather narrow back streets while still hooked up to the ‘TinTent’ which proved a bit challenging and also interesting…..



    Across the river which in November 2014 claimed a number of lives when people were drowned as they were swept away in vehicles whose drivers decided that they could cross the river….











    Oops someone forgot to close the Goat Pen Gate!.....



    After we finally made it to the Marjane, we then turned left as we came out and set off on the road that looks like it was completely submerged during the flash floods and has recently been dug back out due to the amount of brown soil along the road side…..





    Left hand bend as we see some of the older mud houses that have crumbled over time on the hillside…..



    As we enter the village of Asrir which is also undergoing some major road works…..







    While there was no sign to tell us the name of this village a bit further along the road we think it was Tighmeght as the campsite was not much further along the road just passed the village….



    Green fields on the outside of the Oasis…..





    The short ‘piste’ road to the campsite….



    Finally we are there…..





    As it is Saturday and there is no school these children from Neighbours were at the campsite with the campsite owners children, while the young girl who is nine years old speaks three languages, Arabic, French & English, and helped me for a few minutes in practising my Arabic numbers from 1 to 10!

    Hopefully I will get a repeat tomorrow as being Sunday, there is also no school….



    While to round off the day, the Sun did drop below the horizon in a nice Oasis Sunset…..



    First impressions are of a very relaxing place with a really nice owner, as we were invited to take tea with him and as we finished that we were then invited to enjoy a Couscous of vegetables & chicken with his wife and children which was excellent!

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