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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 19 Dec 2013
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Western Sahara Inlands - a guidebook for 4x4 overlanders

... so I decided to distil my knowledge on the Western Sahara and write a guidebook addressed specifically to 4x4 overlanders, who want to explore this part of the Sahara.

In the last three years, I have spent all together more than seven months in the inlands of the WS, drove more than 15 kkm of different pistes and cross-country connections, always exploring new parts of this country and searching for interesting places. And the work continues, I'm in WS at the moment and intend to stay here for some months, working on the guidebook.

I started an Indiegogo project to raise funds required for effective finishing the research for the guidebook and to print it.
--> link Here.

I tried to explain the subject and the objectives in depth at the project page, so there is no need to repeat it here. Just to emphasize some points:
- The perks (right column on the project page) enable you to effectively preorder the guidebook.
- The financial type of the project is a "fixed funding", which effectively means that in the case the minimum funds (enabling the production of the guidebook) are not raised, all contributions will be refunded back to the contributors.
- If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me and ask.

Hope to meet you in the inlands of the WS soon!

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  #2  
Old 22 Dec 2013
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Created a FB page where I will post fresh info from the work in progress as well as some hints on the places worth visiting in the inlands of the WS:

https://www.facebook.com/wsinlands
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  #3  
Old 23 Dec 2013
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hello again!! was about to post something on here about your trip, but you beat me to it!!
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  #4  
Old 23 Jan 2014
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Well vrecha, I´m atonished since I view the map on your facebook page. Specially when I saw your porposal for off-the-pist routes in the surroundings of Ausserd.

Don´t you know that area is so dangerous because of the mines? Have you asked the locals or militars for it? In these reports Reports of the Secretary-General on MINURSO - United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara you can read every year there are some casualties because of the mines, three years ago the president of the town council of Ausserd with two moroccan parlamentaries died in a mine accident. I think is irresponsible and stupid assume such kind of risk. Much more propose to another this routes.

There are plenty of mines in WS. I´ve heard that about 10.000.000. Areas as Ausserd, some coastal zones, Imlili, surroundings of Dakhla... are very dangerous. I encourage everybody not to leave used pistes in WS.

In adition I don´t know how you could do that circular route arround Ausserd, it´s a forbidden area. I know it well, two years ago I was intercepted by two militar 200 HP Land Cruisers and then retained by the Gendarmerie Royal for a day for interrogate me...

This is the chasis of an old Land Rover beated by a mine explosion only three meters from the piste near Bir Matalah, SW of Ausserd

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  #5  
Old 25 Jan 2014
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Dear pera,
thank you very much for the opinion and concern expressed in your post and thank you a little less for the authoritative and protective manner with which you expressed it.

[edit]

Really I don't see a reason for answering all of your questions, but for a starter, let me inform you that:
- I read the MINURSO reports you linked.
- I haven't heard of the specific incident you mentioned, I asked the neighbours and the military yesterday and they don't know about it, either (although both those sources are not 100% reliable, each for its own reasons).

And yes, by the way, I live in Aousserd. That should explain some other things you are questioning yourself about (me having access to the pistes you don't, for example).

[edit]

I will end this with an example of a more positive snapshot from WS, a type of a place I like visiting and I search for in my exploration of WS (and btw, even the area around Bir Mataalah you mentioned is quite an interesting one, if you are able to look over the beaten LR chassis).

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Last edited by markharf; 31 Jan 2014 at 19:20.
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  #6  
Old 25 Jan 2014
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Hi vrecha, I´m sorry, I can read English but barely speak/write enough for eat and sleep when I travel. Perhaps the literal translation of my atonishment sounds authoritative or protective.

But I uphold everything I writed up. I don´t mind your bussines but I think it´s compulsory repeat this: I encourage everybody not to leave used (old military tracks unused also can be dangerous) pistes in WS., there are dangerous and very dangerous places there. Mostly for the security of the overlanding community you talk.

If you have not found nothing in the links here you have two samples. The schema of the reports it´s the same year a year.



ç28. Unfortunately, the reporting period also saw an increase in the number of mine
accidents involving the local population, according to reports (not all of which could
be verified by United Nations military observers) received by the MINURSO Mine
Action Coordination Centre from a variety of sources. A total of 18 accidents
occurred in 2008 (12 on the west side of the berm and six on the east side), which
constitutes an increase from the eight accidents previously reported in 2007
(S/2008/251, para. 27). While the increase was likely due in part to better and more
intensive accident-information collection, heavy rains during the beginning of the
year were also a key factor in creating a spike in the number of accidents related to
mines and unexploded ordnance. Notably, while three accidents were reported for
January and February 2008 (S/2008/251, para. 27), that number increased to eight
during the first two months of 2009.


Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara, 13 April 2009


54. The widespread contamination caused by landmines and explosive remnants of
war throughout Western Sahara continues to endanger the lives of the local
population, MINURSO military observers and logistical teams. During the reporting
period, nine accidents resulted in injuries to two civilians on the east side of the
berm. The Royal Moroccan Army reported 25 accidents in which 3 people were
killed and 30 injured on the west side of the berm. MINURSO continues to take
steps to ensure the safety of United Nations personnel with the support of the
Mission’s Mine Action Coordination Centre.


Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara, 8 April 2013


Since 1975, Moroccan authorities have registered at least 2,171 accidents caused by mines and explosive remnants of war

Report of the Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara, 14 April 2008


I also have found this, there is more than mines




Reports of the Secretary-General on MINURSO - United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara

Last edited by pera; 25 Jan 2014 at 23:17.
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  #7  
Old 25 Jan 2014
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Be carefull there and responsible then

Last edited by markharf; 31 Jan 2014 at 19:22.
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  #8  
Old 26 Jan 2014
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Good morning, I have long been reading this great forum, I checked two years ago ... and now I find a good reason to write a post.

Thanks for your clarifications pera , Atlantic Western Sahara is not a ground for 4x4/motobike games, almost every year on the local population for injuries / deaths from mines. We must be very careful in the paths of the tracks and off-piste are very dangerous in general.

The data provided pera are very reliable ... and there is plenty of data on mines and security in that area

Moreover Mr. Jacques Gandini , in 2006 published a guide WPTS and history of this area , there are currently for sale a new 2014 edition . In this guide , the No. 6, and their other guides: No. 3 , for example, Mr. Gandini, always working with civilian and military authorities of the area and the necessary permissions ... clearly warns of the dangers of mines. And Mr. Gandini points in their guides / books where you can travel safely either on track or off track.

For many years I worked in the area of Western Sahara and have travel - permit - its tracks , I do not speak from ignorance . All who participated in the Paris / Dakar rally that spanned the Western Sahara to go to Mauritania and Senegal, are well aware of the dangers that were mine and which still exist ...it's not a scary story

Pistes du Maroc Tome 6 (2014) - Extrem'Sud

Guides - Extrem'Sud

Guide 2006:



Believe me: I know very well what I'm talking about. And what he's talking pera.

Tres de ida y vuelta, por favor.
Sahara Atlántico/Occidental: 1ª travesía integral en Kuá
Marruecos;provincias saharianas
Sahara Occidental: la Magic Line
Sahara Occidental: un paseo por la nada

Last edited by francesi; 28 Jan 2014 at 13:03.
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  #9  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Vrecha, great project! Thanks for making us aware of your book.

[edit]

I follow your way of thinking.

[edit]
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Last edited by markharf; 31 Jan 2014 at 19:24.
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  #10  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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I propose that anyone wishing to post on this thread stay calm and respectful, bearing in mind that the goal here is to share information, ideas, and experience--not to bash the information, ideas or experiences offered by others.

I'll also suggest that we all try to bear in mind that it can be difficult to communicate clearly in English, even for native speakers like myself. This implies giving other posters, for whom English might not come easily, the benefit of the doubt as much as possible.

Thanks.

Mark
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Old 31 Jan 2014
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I agree; keep it civil folks. The HUBB's about sharing information and I think that's now been done. Let's leave it at that.

Happy trails,

Peter
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  #12  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Thanks Markhaf and Peter.

Last edited by pera; 31 Jan 2014 at 20:29.
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  #13  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Despite of the UN reports,the pics of the chassis, and the unexploited bomb are mine, and I´ve also see friends pics of mines they have found and marked. The danger is real. I´ve no political nor financial interest in WS, I´m a simple tourist that spends most of his holidays in my loved WS

Last edited by pera; 31 Jan 2014 at 20:30.
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  #14  
Old 31 Jan 2014
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Ok folks, I've done a quick edit to eliminate some less-than-optimal posting. Another moderator previously deleted other stuff before me. Please keep it on topic, respectful, and informative. Edit out insults before posting.

The alternative is to carry on as before and watch the thread disappear as if it never happened.

Thanks.

Mark
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  #15  
Old 31 Mar 2014
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Well, it´s not my imagination. A couple of months there was a mine accident at Western Sahara.

You can read it here Carro de cineastas brasileiros é atingido por mina e explode no Saara Ocidental - Mundo & Ciência - O Dia
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