The Southern Provinces / The Western Sahara
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Nov 15, 2012 2:44 AM Last Post By: viaggero
Nov 14, 2012 9:03 AM
The Southern Provinces / The Western SaharaI would like to see - what is called here - the Southern Provinces, before leaving Morocco. Could someone offer some insight into their experiences? Where would be good to visit? How does the culture compare to Morocco? I'm fairly experienced at getting around, so not too worried about issues like transport, currency, language, etc.. Just looking for some advice. I might have 2 or so weeks to explore.
Is it even worth visiting if I have already spent several months elsewhere in Morocco?
Nov 14, 2012 11:52 AM
1Friends of mine have just passed through on their way to The Gambia, see http://twowheelexploring.com/page/3/
Tarfaya and Dakhla are interesting. Some more pics: http://www.morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/showthread.php?t=191
Nov 14, 2012 12:31 PM
Nov 15, 2012 2:44 AM
3Here's a piece of a post I made a few months ago that pertains to the south.
Tarfaya If you want to see where The Little Prince was penned than this is worth a stopover because they have a museum there, but otherwise this is a case of where LP authors weren't paying attention. They say that there are 20 historic buildings. My local sources say that most were torn down a year or so ago. I saw only what appeared to be the ruins of some kind of fortress and Casa Mar which is actually in the sea. I wouldn't have overnight ed there had I known it offered so little. The best thing for me was hitching a rid with a French trucker who went to Layooune via the new ocean route (not the trans Sahara road) because it is very scenic with many dunes, some pouring over onto the road, the ocean on your right most (maybe all) of the way and I got to see a new shipwreck (as of this last June). He drives this road once a month and says it's much prettier than the other. So, if you have your own car, you might want to go that way.
Western Sahara Going through WS gave me the opportunity to see what an occupied county was like. And you know it's an occupied country because every African country recognizes it as its own nation except for one - the invaders. You know it's occupied because the invaders have given great incentives for it's citizens to move there in the hope they can influence the referendum voting that should have been done years ago. You know it's occupied by talking to any Saharawi who'd tell you WE ARE NOT MOROCCANS and who talk about the Free Sahara (the part not controled by Morocco). You know it's occupied by the fact you have to stop and many control posts where they ask you your profession (they don't want journalists). You know it's occupied by the riot police seen throughout Laayoune and you know you're in an occupied country when you go to Laayoune beach and you see over 20 police patrolling a beach where the Saharawis frequent (control not protection) and only 2 on the Moroccan side of the beach.
Most likely most people come here to overland into Western Africa. Because of its length and the heat many take night transportation or drive in the evening. By doing this you'll miss out on the best part of Western Sahara - the landscapes. Deserts are not just sand dunes. By driving all the way during the day you'll see many dunes, but also several varieties of desert landscapes.
The cities in WS aren't that great and don't merit a long stop. The highlights of Laayoune are feeling 68/20 degree weather at the beach in daytime in June, sand dunes that are 30+ meters high which can be reached by walking across the dry river, and seeing all the Moroccan storm troopers there for 'our protection'. Boujdour has an impressive lighthouse a far distance from the sea, and nothing else. And Dakhla has excellent kite surfing and beaches, but they are 11 -25k from town and that makes getting there expensive. Dakhla itself isn't that pretty and the 'ruins' next to the lighthouse haven't been there in years - but LP seems to think they are.
Well, that's my report on Morocco. I hope you find it helpful.
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