We are covering a lot of ground at the moment. We get up early and cycle long days. There are some places along the road where we can find some shelter and rest in the shade. The distance between villages and small towns are getting longer, usually about 100km or more. Sometimes when the road goes really close to ocean we have a nice cool breeze and even clouds. And there is nothing better than camping close to the ocean and hear the waves crashing agains the rocks.
We have about one week more of cycling before we reach the Mauritanian border. The forecast says cloudy or sunny depending on where we look. It also means a big difference in air temperature, 24°C or 42C. Let´s just hope for some clouds. In Sahara we notice a much higher level of security. There are police checkpoints in all the cities and some places also between. On the coastline there are one manned military post every kilometer. We have no problem finding a save place to pitch the tent. The police and military are following our every move. Sometimes they call us in the afternoon to check where we are and where we will camp. When we didn’t enter Laayoune and therefor missed the checkpoint a police car pulled us over on the road later that day to check where we were going. It´s very hard
to explain the concept of our way of travel to the police. Just saying that we will cycle as far as possible today and when it get´s dark we will find a place to sleep doesn’t work. For us it´s simple, if we have a headwind and clear blue sky all day we will just cycle 80km and if we have tailwind and some clouds we will cycle over 100km, The last days it have worked out fine. We find a military post at night and camp close to it. The military report to the police where we are and everybody is happy. On night we decided to camp on the beach with a group of men who invited us for dinner at their fishing camp. We reported to the closest military post and everything was fine. This attracted the attention of the high commanders in the area. A jeep arrived with four high rank officers and one soldier. After some discussion and when they had checked our passports we were commanded to put the tent close to the post instead of the beach. We were told that one man fell from a high cliff awhile ago and had to spend three days in the hospital, that the army was very worried that anything would happen to tourists camping on the beach. The risk of theft was also a bit high because a lot of narco traffickers are active in the area. It all work out great in the end. After pitching the tent far away from the beach, the solider arriving in the jeep were commanded to guard our tent all night. It felt very safe to leave our belongings for awhile and enjoy a great dinner with fantastic people on the beach.
Like all Swedish people know, as soon as we leave northern Europe people we meet usually can´t tell if we are from Sweden or Switzerland. In the Sahara region it doesn’t matter how many languages we say Sweden in. But after awhile usually someone asks, “ah! Suéde, Ibrahimovic!”. Or like when talking to the police the other day one officer didn’t get it, and after saying Suisse a few times he´s partner corrected him, “no,no, not Suisse, Ibrahimovic!”