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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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Old 19 May 2008
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Couple of questions re: Atlantic Route.

Hi folks,

Two questions:

How quickly (roughly) would it be possible to drive from Marrakesh to Dakar on the Atlantic route, taking into account time spent at borders etc. assuming you were driving fast (4WD), not worrying about sightseeing?

Where on the net can I find good recent descriptions of the route, post tarmac? I'm thinking web blogs of recent trips etc.

Thanks for any input.

Matt
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Old 19 May 2008
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Ideally get multiple-entry Mauri visa whilst in Morocco otherwise on transit visas you won't be able to return north (from Senegal into Mauri) via Diamma and will have to use Rosso.

Count on two to three hours at each border crossing, if it's less it's a bonus.

It's tarmac all the way except for 5km at the Western Sahara/Mauri border and 60 miles of piste if you enter Senegal via Diamma. Otherwise fine roads, mainly straight and about 1900 miles in total. I did it in six days, you could do it easily in five or maybe four days. My route and stopping points in January was

Ouarzazate to Goulimine: 371 mi (roughly the same from Marrakech)
Goulimine to Layoune: 267 mi
Layoune to Motel Barbas: 491 mi
Motel Barbas to Nouakchott: 332 mi (plus border crossing)
Nouakchott to Saint-Louis: 208 mi (plus border crossing)
Saint-Louis to Dakar: 192 mi

Fuel in Western Sahara is considerably cheaper once you are south of Tan Tan.
The stop near Layoune was at Le Roi Bedouin campsite run by Luc and Martine.
Motel Barbas is the last fuel stop in Western Sahara and is 80km north of the border.

I bypassed Nouadhibou both there and back.
On the way back I stopped at Dakhla rather than Motel Barbas.

Blog on trip at There and Back Again

If you want tracklogs of roads, send me a PM with your email addy.

Tim
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Last edited by Tim Cullis; 19 May 2008 at 18:10.
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Old 19 May 2008
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I have driven from Nouakchott to Marrakech in three days (and three 400-dirham traffic fines), but it's somewhat dangerous and tiring (and expensive).

As Tim says fuel is cheaper south of Tan Tan, but that's also the last town where you can find the better gasoil.

Pedro
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Old 20 May 2008
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Thanks guys, useful info. Will have a look at your blog Tim, cheers!

Matt
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