Everything is Gonna Be Alright

This is the most incredible experience of a lifetime! “Everyone’s dream!” So I have been told. I feel like a lot of times I overreact to situations, especially on this blog, getting shocked and awed by all the culture shock and awestruck moments and then rambling about like a blithering idiot and then getting over it a few hours later and feeling like a schizo. It is a constant series of fleeting frustration, quickly overcome by love for humankind. A Spanish girl in Essaouira asked me how my trip made me feel about the human race and I said that it gave me hope. A French guy in Cambodia asked me if I was happy. When I said yes, he said “why”. I said because I have opportunity.

Over the past few days I have been catching rides and waves down the Atlantic coast, past Morocco proper and down the Western Sahara, through deserted towns full of Trans Saharan tradesmen and Berber tribesmen. When I descended upon Plage Sauvage several days ago, I burst into tears for the first time since I was nearly killed in Phnom Penh. For some reason I was suddenly feeling lonely and lost instead of at peace in the beauty of this wild, deserted landscape. I can’t describe it now, maybe it’s just because I’m a female! Like Hilary Clinton! Remember when she cried and some people said that’s why a woman can’t be president. I digress. So I let the tearfest last about two mintues before regathering my bearings and re strapping on my backpack and headed down the savage beach about 2 km when I came across a tiny outpost and a shirtless man with no teeth. He ushered me and and silently poured me tea. Generosity and human kindness restored a good feeling in me and I didn’t feel so lost anymore. Instead, I felt lucky. And each time I feel lucky, my luck only seems to get better and better. Further on down the coastline, I met a girl from the French Alps and a Moroccan guy with friends in the area, and for the following two days, we hitched together through this wild part of the world, staying with friends of Adil’s in the tiny, often electricity-less, haunted oceanside villages.

Adil and Maude in the back of one of the pickup trucks that picked us up along the way

Adil and Maude in the back of one of the pickup trucks that picked us up along the way

Moments after my self pity party, stumbling upon this cement abode a man that had been living in a cave for 15 years finally decided to build for himself

Moments after my self pity party, stumbling upon this cement abode a man that had been living in a cave for 15 years finally decided to build for himself

Shipwreck and Berber graffiti along the rugged coastline

Shipwreck and Berber graffiti along the rugged coastline

And behold the greatest adventure of my entire journey is only days away! I have been anticipating my trans-Saharan roadtrip through Mauritania into West Africa for over a year now, keeping up with the Mauritanian Embassy and the U.S.’s cover-our-asses travel warnings that there are landmines and Al-Quaeda. Don’t worry everyone, these things are blown out of proportion, and I plan on strictly heeding the advice of locals who know the way of this world. My skin has gotten dark, practically Tuareg nomad-dark, and with the turban I have been sporting to blend in, no one bothers me. I write to you from Goulmine, a town Lonely Planet describes as “dusty and derelict” and “tricky for women”, hiding out in an internet cafe with my turban on, waiting for the midnight departure of my 19-hour bus to Dakhla, the last town before the Mauritanian border, where I will seek a ride through the hundreds-of-kilometers-of-nothingness! Now, though, I am going to look for a hammam, since I smell like pizza in an old shoe.

Plage Legzira, a hidden spot in between Mirleft and Sidi Ifni, on the Atlantic Coast

Plage Legzira, a hidden spot in between Mirleft and Sidi Ifni, on the Atlantic Coast

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~ by ceciliabien on October 22, 2009.

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