Our new driver was a man in about his seventies, and a loud one. After starting his car, we drove about three minutes before it was time for eating, evening prayers and just hanging around with his mates in a highway ‘diner’. I took the time to gaze at the desert by night, and it undeniably looked very cool indeed. When we finally continued, I fell asleep for a short while, waking up when he pulled the car over once again, stretched his legs and started to snore. My neighbour helpfully shouted to my ear in Berber/Arabic that our driver needs to rest a while.
After a half an hour or so, I seriously suggested to the man to continue driving, which proved to be a bad, very bad mistake. He agreed and started driving. Once again I thought that things are finally going on just fine…and fell asleep.
I woke up to the snoring of our man, while moving about 80 km/h in a completely dark highway in the middle of Sahara! Driving in the middle of the road, falling asleep time and again, only to wake up to the headlights of an encountering truck and tilting to the right just before hitting was his style. Shouting of French/English/Berber/Arabic (+ swearwords in all the languages spoken in the car) filled the 1970s Mercedes for few minutes. Despite us now agreeing that he can sleep, he insisted of lasting to the next city of Boujdour. He (and us) made it; once again he stretched his legs and started to snore.
After two and a half hours of very tired sipping mint tea and communicating with the locals without a common language, we decided to continue and wake up our driver. At this point the clock was somewhere around three in the morning. He woke up and off we went! This time he lasted one hour, before the roulette started all over again. We pulled over to sleep (at this point I was approaching a mental state of ‘accepting harmony’; I think Zen Buddhists talk about it). After an hour of sleep he was able to continue, being able to remain somewhat awake… Just few times we had to do something silly with his non-functioning radio, the activity of which he would reproach loudly (I think he never realised it was our tactic of stimulating his blood circulation).
We reached Laayoune after twelve hours, at six o’clock in the morning. The guy gracefully drove me two blocks to my hotel.