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West Sahara.

West Sahara.

– Traveler;
– Photographer;
– Computer network specialist;
– Candidate of Biological Sciences.

Punched by the study of high-mountain ecosystems, travel photography and human behavior in extreme environmental conditions.

The barren, the land forgotten by God, the irony of fate and not gained independence, despite the fact that the last Spanish colonial soldier left here for almost forty years ago. Formally, the state, of course, is and even recognizes fifty countries of this world. In fact, the territory immediately occupied the troops of the Kingdom of Morocco, and for many years there was a prolonged war. Until the UN peacekeepers arrived here in 1991. These years the Moroccans were enough to pour bérm in the desert – a barrier mound, the world’s longest wall of the alienation, beyond all the dissenters. On both sides of the wall there are dozens of supporting posts of observers, among which the ours serve.

Typical landscape of Western Sahara.

Desert, wall, rare settlements and hundreds of kilometers of minefields, among which the beacons whites the bones of camels – that’s what Wadi-Zakhab, the land of waiting independence of the Saharavians. And I, definitely, I had to see it with my own eyes.

The plane smoothly decreases above the village of Dakhla, in the past being the center of the Spanish province of Rio de Oro. On top sand dunes seem to be quite peaceful, but much can be seen in the porthole? Over the past twenty years, the whole world forgot about the war in this part of the Great Desert, but it seems to me that it is worth only to leave the peacemakers – and the sands will flash again.

It is logical to assume that the presence of a cheap regular aviation message with a small part of the territory called the official Morocco as a southern province (good such province: with an area of ​​everything else kingdom) – phenomenon Rather political and state airline or receives subsidies for this flight, or in other ways trying to compensate Losses on a clearly unprofitable direction.

And for sure: the flight Casablanca – Dakhla, it turns out, makes an intermediate landing in Markkesh, where most passengers came out. In the cabin, there was only a small group of replica siefs, several Sugaravians and two ours, anticipating a date with the sugar and the ocean in one bottle.

Embankment in the town of Dakhla.

Dahal sheltered on the southern tip of a narrow peninsula, a forty-kilometer arrow stretched along the coast of the continent. To the Moorish border – some five hundred kilometers. Externally, everything is quiet and peaceful, but at the exit from the airport there is military control. Officer diligently records information about all arrivals in thick notebook. Well, though not a goose pen, but quite ordinary fountain pen. Felt himself in a compuster era.

– Which hotel?
– No.
– Eeee … Which hotel has a room booked?
– In anything.
Officer freezes for more fifty seconds, painfully trying to realize the fact of the presence of two foreigners who, for some reason, did not concern the armors of local hotels.
– I will write you to "Sahara Regency".

Logical. What other institution could think about the service, despite the fact that Sahara is the only hotel in four stars in the village, where all foreigners settle down? I imagine what a template rupture happened, he learned that we settled in a remote slave for 150 dirhams for two. However, there were rooms for 80 local tugres, but dragged at night in the only toilet on the floor in the absence of lighting we did not want.

After going to the evening Promenade, our fishermen met his surprise. Sahara Regency, of course.

– Well, what life is here?

– Yes, everything is fine. Commandant hour at times, plus checks on the tracks. Recently, the Military football match arranged. Moroccans with WestshoreAkharters. So a man twenty with knife wounds to the hospital was fired. On official channels, of course, silence. But foreigners do not touch – here it is strictly. Local only on tourism live.

And, indeed, everything is quiet, neat and seems peaceful. That’s just the courtyards smear the camouflages of the military and at ten pm, the village as if he would die – only rare foreigners walk along the frozen streets, looking around from the feeling of view in unprotected back.

Sunset in Dakhler.

A common foreigner can be hit by the Earth who are not bought by Moroccans only on the border with Mauritania, which recognized the Sugar Arab Democratic Republic by an independent state. And Dakhla – the last stronghold of civilization on this path. A semi-boring town where civilian has nothing more to do otherwise, except to catch fish, impairing a few tourists or … to earn smuggling, carrying goods in much less prosperous Mauritania. Sugar sand, for example: he is spoken in the next country is three times more expensive.

Therefore, deciding in the morning to the market square of another sleepy town, we easily found the driver traveling in Moorish affairs and ready to throw us to the lined lands.

It is a pity, to build up to the border and did not give us: Military control on the road is on duty around the clock and the presence of two foreigners in the car – more than a good reason for checking all sorts of driver documents.

– good day. Things are good?
– good day. All perfectly.
– That’s fine? Where to go?
– Yes, everything is great. We were not stolen. We go to the border.

I do not know how you, but I rather make me more attention than strains, despite the loss in time. In general, the territories controlled by Moroccans in the event of problems with the foreigners with local police initially gives "on the header" by the Aboriginal, and only then asks: "And what, in fact, happened?"

West Sahara.

It is gratifying, of course. But here, after all, Africa and the conflict zone – do not relax. And for sure: Moroccan border guards quickly returned us from heaven to sinful land.

Surprisingly, how many people feed on the border point. One – fills the questionnaires. For money, of course. And, of course, the questionnaire can only be found at this person. Not that it was a pity there was ten dirham, but the lack of choice strains. Another – tied with customs. Is it necessary to say that our backpacks were not checked (not otherwise as because the driver dragged the bag of sugar)? Third … brazenly shake money from you, I feel great that the stamp about the road from the country is already accomplished.

– Nationality?
– our.
– Give me money.
– Did not understand.
– Give two hundred dirham. Well … one hundred dollars. or Euro.
– We do not have money.
– How no money?! Well, give a hundred dirham.
– We only have a credit card.

The physiognomy of Moroccan warriors sharply dump and they regret return to us passports. It seems to carry. We make a dozen steps towards the neutral zone – and we are dying. We still need to go to the gendarmerie. Yes.

In the gendarmerie, a lonely sergeant manually writes in a thick notebook data passport passports. Exactly like at Dahla airport. Unified Military Moroccan Standard, not otherwise. The queue moves slowly, but our driver with the car has not drove – and we are not in a hurry. Although, of course, everything can be done faster – and there is an intermediary here, ready to drive passports from a black move. Of course, for the petty Baksish.

Finally, after an hour and a half of the dead time, we step on a bumpy rut of the free West Earth. To the Moorish border of some five kilometers, but it is this thin five-kilometer strip that connects the lands of the Sahara Republic, the so-called free zone, with the ocean. That’s just a sense from this – the earth is completely mined and we try to strictly stick the gauge, watching the skeletons of the skeletons of the machines and the black beams of exterrupted tires.

– and mine can be seen? – I ask the driver.
– anti-personnel can be seen, you just need to know how it looks. Even the anti-tank can be – if it lines the rain. But it’s almost no rainy here.
– And what do they look?
– Looks like pebbles too correct shape.
– so there are stones everywhere!
– exactly. Therefore do not go beyond the rut.

Non-rigid cars on the neutral strip.

The hubar flashes outside the window, made from the hoods of broken cars.

– And here really live?
– Live. Other – all your life. Some did not miss the border, others – hide from the Moroccan authorities, others – just here were born.
– But here there is nothing!
– There is. Borders, mines and, of course, camels.

I look at the empty hills without a single bladeing and suddenly I understand why this solar conflict will not fade. Survive in the middle of the rocky desert, without housing and tap water, only if there is a solid goal and hope for the future. Hope that someday this land really will become free.

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