"2007 to 2010 we travelled around the world in a Land Rover Discovery3.
In 2018 we departed for a second overland adventure with our daughter on board our 4x4 Iveco VM90 camper. Follow our dream here!"
- Vula, Anastasia and Akis -
Today we did all our work in the capital and we just start to enjoy it. I was not in a good mood since yesterday, coming to Dakar. Big cities like this are difficult and pretty expensive, you Know…
Today we had to do a lot – issue visas for Burkina Faso (and Guinea?) and service the Discovery. My mood got a lot better when we met Diop – my little friend in Dakar. We drove downtown to the Sofitel Terranga hotel, where we got to know each other during my previous rally Dakar trips, and had a bit of traffic jam, but OK.
With Diop in the car delighted to see us, we drove to the Burkina Faso embassy and after an hour or so we had the passports stamped for 28.200 CFA each (45 euros). After we headed to the L’ Africain Automobiles, the official Ford dealer in Dakar, that belongs to Josef, a friend of Nicolas from Nouadhibou. Directly the chief mechanic, Mr.Eugene Nosov and his crew took care of the car. In one hour and a half the Discovery was brand new, clean like never before, with oil/filter changed and diesel & air filter inspected. At the end, they took no money from us, so we felt really obliged. Thank you very much everybody in L’ Africaine de l’ Automobile!
Right after, Diop took us at his house to introduce us to his family. He was so proud to be with us in his neighborhood and we were so honoured to meet his gentle father, his sisters and his nephews. What a great family, so proud even if poor. That was an experience we will not forget, as well, so thank you Diop! We will remember you all along our trip!_Akis Temperidis
Forgive us for not moving today but here it’s like the end of the world. A wonderful end. Except the two radio connection with Best Radio and Radio Thessaloniki today, we did almost nothing here in Chinguetti.
But what do I say? We visited the library with the Islamic manuscripts of the 11th-13th century A.D. and listened Ahmed, our guide, talking about the history of his village that was once a glorious crossroad for camel caravans, carrying salt from thousands kilometres away all over northern Africa. Chinguetti was actually the name of this country then.
Mauritania is a name inspired by a French, in 1905. At noon it was so hot here that we could do nothing more than relax under the tree with the Discovery but as soon the sun came down, we started playing, shooting photos and organising even a dragster sand races with both Land Rovers; Who is the fastest in 1st low gear with us walking by? The Discovery! After sunset, on the “oued”, a river, we stuck trying to find a place to overnight. But it’s OK. Now we are no more hungry thanks to the risotto with tuna and cumin that Vula prepared and we are ready to sleep. Tomorrow we depart for Nouakchott and Senegal._A.Temperidis
Total km.: 8.698
Day km.: 21
Tip of the day: For a genuine Sahara experience, come to Chinguetti and ask for Ahmed at the Sahara restaurant.
Highlight of the day: the siesta under the trees.
Just as we got used to live in our Maggiolina, we are back in the luxury of a Marrakesh traditional Riad. Yesterday we arrived to Marrakesh and drove directly towards the Medina to find the Maison Bel Baraka, a traditional Riad – an old rich Morocco villa – transformed to a 5 room hotel. What a wonderful place!
Hidden in the alleys of the Medina, next to the Riad Larousse behind a heavy wooden door, you find here the ultimate Moroccan hospitality. Each room is individually decorated, there is a pleasant patio and a nice view for tea and breakfast, overlooking the biggest Medina of the country.
In Bel Baraka we were accepted by Rashid, the guy who runs the place and has decorated it as well, his greek wife Charlotte Lazarou and Petros Katrakazos, the owner of Chez Dimitri, the famous Ouarzazate restaurant, where we had an unforgettable dinner the previous night.
Chez Dimitri is a very special place. It was created by Dimitris Katrakazos in 1928 and used to be a restaurant, grocery store and petrol station for the French Legion. Today it is a must for every visitor in Ouarzazate, as from time to time it hosts all actors that frequent the town Hollywood studios, from Omar Sharif to Brad Pit. Yesterday, before driving to Marrakesh, we actually visited Atlas studios to see the set of different movies like Asterix, Kleopatra, Gladiator, etc.
Yesterday, our program was to come to Marrakesh, stay for a couple of hours and go away, but after one day we are still here. It’s Charlotte, Rasid and this great place that don’t leave us hit the road again. Though, after we hustled today at the Jamma El Fna square – what a real life theatric show, actually – we intend to depart for Essaouira tonight, which will be our last station in Morocco. Tomorrow, you will know if we actually hit the road again…_A.Temperidis
It was a long day yesterday. From the 240 km. off-road route we got out in the afternoon, as we arrived to Tagounite. From there we drove 25 km. south towards M’ Hamid where the tarmac ends and the dunes start. It is a Merzuga style resort but more quiet and alternative.
There, we met Ali Laghfiri and that was the reason to postpone our departure for Ouarzazate for today. Ali took us at Erg Lehoudi, guided us to the Dunes, where we made some TV filming for Epi Trochon programme, and had a nice tea accompanied a bargain of local goods, made by sahraoui nomads. As it got dark, Ali invited us to stay at his camp and have tazin together.
So we spent one more night in Sahara, laying on blankets over the sand, drinking tea and talking with a new good, 22years old friend of the sahraoui tribe. The tazin was served as the friends of Ali where playing Sahara blues. It was the best we could have in the desert even if with Vula we were so tired that couldn’ t really enjoy this unique night. Insallah, next time, as Ali says…
Today, after a morning tea at Ali’s home, we had to hit the tarmac road again to Ouarzazate. What a petty, to leave behind a place like this and it’s people. In anyway, the good news is that tonight we are going to to be in a town, developed thanks to the nearby Hollywood studios. It’s not uncommon to meet Brad Pit in Ouarzazate, having dinner at Chez Dimitri, the famous restaurant that a greek made in 1928 and today his son Petros, runs. But more for Chez Dimitri, tomorrow as long as we travel to Marrakesh…_A.Temperidis
Monday 28/5/2007, 6:20 pm
Total km: 5.694
Day km: 249
Overnight: Ouarzazate Camping, Morocco,
Tip of the day: you want to have a real Sahara taste in Morocco? Send an e-mail now to Ali Saghfiri (firstname.lastname@example.org) and write him that you are friends of Akis and Vula, the Greeks… Highlight of the day: morning tea at Ali’s house.