16-Feb-2004 -- Things to do while waiting for a new transmission...
Four of us in two Land Rovers are on a six month trip crossing Africa North to South by land. Shortly after our journey began, the transmission in one of our vehicles gave up, and we are now stuck in Laâyoune, Morocco, waiting for a new one to arrive by plane from the UK. But that's another story; to follow it visit us at AfricaOverland.org.
We set out from Laâyoune on the morning of Feb 16. Our destination was 17N 13W, about 27 km SE from Laâyoune. We followed a paved road to the town of D'chira. D'chira has seen better days; its Medina (old town, usually walled, fortress-like) seemed abandoned and the city walls were in disrepair. There were a couple of people about, and it seemed obvious that they didn't get many tourists through their town. We turned south at the only intersection and followed a road out of town that led in the right general direction. The pavement ended at the edge of town, and we followed the road as it turned east.
The road at this point was once a maintained gravel road, with rocks marking its edges. We speculated that this road was built by the Spanish during their occupation of Western Sahara, but we're not sure. If anyone knows more about the history of this region, send me an email and I'll update this description.
The old road quickly became a bone jarring field of rocks and the tracks of the few vehicles that still use this route left the road and continued alongside it. We followed the tracks until we were about a kilometer north of the Confluence, then headed south cross-country. When we located the Confluence, we discovered that it sits within a few meters of another set of vehicle tracks (no idea where they go to or come from).