The guys who showed up by my tent in the middle of nowhere 

After Guelmin, the gateway of desert, the surroundings became desolate and uninhabited. Dry and super hot. They said that I should avoid the hottest time of the day to ride, but actually I rode from Sunrise to sunset with nearly non stopping. There was nearly nothing between,not even a single tree. 

I didn’t prepare enough the first day in desert, after finished my 5L of water, I finally saw I guy who was riding a donkey, I got excited ,showed my water bottle asking him if he has any water, he excited nodded his head and took my water bottle,then drank up the last drop of water in my bottle. I licked my lips,tried to smile and kept looking, finally I met some guys who were fixing their trucks on the road, I got not only a big bucket of water but also some bread. 
I didn’t stay at Guelmin that night but kept riding hoping to camp at some villages, but what I didn’t expect was that there was nearly nothing between Guelmin to next city Tantan( at least nothing on my map), so I had to stop and found a spot for camping because sun goes down. 

It took me a long time for setting up the tent since the wind was pretty strong and the ground was too hard to nail the tent down, didn’t feel cooking but just went to “bed ” early.

2hours later, I heard the phone beeps,no ,not mine ! I opened my ears to hear it more clearly, yes, the sound source is not far from me. Who would come to the middle of nowhere at night? 

Then the horn beeped, two guys stepped out from the car and walked towards to my tent. 

Compare to last time , the big sound is less scary than the scuffling noise. One guy was answering the phone loudly and another guy already came by my tent.

Madam, it is not safe to camp here!”

How did he know that I’m a “Madam “without even seeing me? 

” Madam, where are you from? It is dangerous to camp here!”

” China!” I was still surprised but answered immediately. 

” We are police,Madam!”

I put my clothes on,opened my tent before I figure out what’s happening . 

He told another guy on the phone that he found a Chinese cyclist, and it seems that they have been looking for me, then he asked me if I have seen two other tourists. I said no, he said its not safe to camp here, pack my stuff and he will take me to a safe place. 

At one second,I was thinking,what if they are not the real police? 

But bad people won’t be smart enough to make such a big trick.

They put my bike in their van and drove me for like 15 kilometers to a cafe restaurant. 

How did they find me? Is it really that dangerous there? 

I still had a lot of questions going on, but they just speak French so I don’t knowhow to ask. 

A lot of police were checking the passing vehicles at the cafe shop, and that is the only place where has something between those two cities. 

The guy who work there had me putmy tent  in the yard, asked me if I’m hungry or thirsty, he said they would guard there the whole night so don’t worry.

The next morning he prepared the nice breakfast already and said that I’m his guest since I came here. 

I finally took the chance to throw out my questions to someone who speak English.

How did the police find me? There was just in the middle of nowhere, how didknow that I was camping there?” 

” Do you remember some polices were checking the vehicles on the road when you left the city Guelmin? They informed the polices at the next city Tantan that a foreign female cyclist is on the way when they saw you, this is the only way to Tantan and you didn’t go there tonight so they looked for you!”

” Would they know if I stayed at the hotel?”

” Yes,of course, the hotel will register your information and let the police know ” 

” Is it really not safe here? Did some bad things happen before?” 

” No, but they want You to feel safe!”

They are not really worry about the bad people but worry about if YOU feel safe in their country, if you are hungry,thirstyor afraid at night! 

No one ever cared like them! My tears down. 

The next day,when I was passing Tanta, those lovely guys were still standing under the sun,checking the passing vehicles . 

And this time,they didn’t just watch me go .

” where are you going to stay tonight?”

” I don’t know yet, maybe camp.” 

” The nearest camping ground is 25 kms away, if you are staying here, we suggest you to stay at a hotel.”

” Ok!”

” So you will stay here tonight or go to another city?”

“Here!” 

I knew I will stay here and I still had no idea where should I sleep. 

I kept biking and looking.

I saw a sign of “center “so I stopped and try to cross the road.

A car behind me stopped as well

“Madam,if you go straight you will see ahotel on your right ”

It was that police, he still felt not reassured.

So I ended up staying at a hotel with 5 euros per night. 

I never felt so safe in any place like now .


在过了Guelmin 之后,就进入到了所谓的沙漠之门,干旱,炎热,荒芜人烟。在沙漠的第一天骑行了140公里,他们说最好避开一天最热的时候骑行,在中午时候休息。而我是从日出骑到日落,茫茫的几十公里连棵树也没有,更别提在哪里能够乘凉。第一天也没有做好充分准备,在携带的5升水喝完后,终于看到一个骑着驴子的人,仿佛如沙漠的绿洲般兴奋的拿着水壶问他有没有水,他也兴奋的点点头,然后接过我的水壶,把剩下的水,一饮而尽!苦笑不得的我只能舔舔嘴唇继续前行,最后遇到在路边因为货车坏掉正在修理的几位司机,不仅拿出车里几大桶水,让我如牛饮水般灌了个饱,更是把他们剩下的午餐都分给我。

在沙漠气候,尽管热,可是却又因为太过干燥出不了汗,唯一感受到灼热的除了眩晕的太阳光,还有每几分钟不喝水就能感受从舌头到喉咙干燥到失去黏液。这还只是前奏,到了撒哈拉,才算是真正的开始。

那晚,我没有停留在城市,而是想着能够找到一个村庄露营。然而等离开城市后才发现,前面125公里几乎荒芜人烟(至少在地图上是这样),后来只好趁在日落之前找地方露营,风沙大到费了很久的力气才支起帐篷,而且土地特别坚硬,拿着石块敲了很久才把地钉敲进去。这样的折腾之后也无心做饭了,啃上一块面包就算把晚餐解决了。

在帐篷内大概躺了两个小时左右,听见一阵手机铃声,夜黑风高的,一开始以为听错了,后来发现铃声确实在不远处,我开始警觉起来,这么一个荒无人烟的地方,谁会来?

接着是几声汽车笛声,有人推开车门,脚步声向这边走来。

这次我倒镇定起来,能够制造这么大动静的远没有窸窸窣窣偷偷摸摸的声音让人觉得可怕。

接着是两个男人的声音,粗旷而洪亮,其中一个人还在大嗓门的打着电话,另外一个早已来到我帐篷边,大声说

“女士,你怎么能在这露营呢?这里不安全!”

还没见着我面就知道我是”女士”,而且还是一口法语,我一时有点懵。

“我是警察,女士,你是来自哪里?”

“ 中国!”

他一边向电话那边的人汇报情况,一边和我对话。

我赶紧穿好衣服,打开帐篷。

“你就一个人吗?怎么能在这里露营呢?我们送你去安全的地方!”

他给我看了看他的警察证件,又用法语解释了一大堆我也没听完全明白,但是还是麻利的收好帐篷,打包好一切。

他们把车和行李装上车,说送我去前面的一个餐馆露营。

茫茫人烟,你们怎么知道我在这?你们是怎么找到我的?

这个地方有这么不安全吗?

我充满了疑问却又因为语言不通不知如何问起。

10几公里后他们把我载到了一个餐厅,这几乎是这100多公里唯一的一个有人烟的地方,过往的大货车都在这里停留,警察也在这里整晚的巡逻检查。

餐厅老板让我在院子里搭帐篷,说他们会整晚巡逻在这里不用担心。

第二天,他们一早为我准备了早餐,又为我打包了几块面包,说我来到这里就是他们的客人了。

想起昨晚的事,我仍然疑惑不解,

警察怎么会知道我在哪里?

这个地方真的有那么不安全吗?

他说,因为你是外国人,当你离开上一个城市,经过巡逻站的时候,他们就已经告诉下一个城市的警察,有一个外国女性骑行者在路上,而你没有去下一个城市,这里又只有这么一条路,所以他们会出来找你。

那如果我入住了旅馆呢?

旅馆老板会登记身份信息然后告诉他们。

这个地方发生过不安全的事吗?

没有。

那他们担心什么?

他们不是担心这个地方不安全,而是担心你觉得不安全!

他们不是担心有人会对我怎么样,而是担心我一个人会害怕,会饿,会渴,所以他们想让我放心,想让我知道我在他们的国家是安全的!

我忍不住感动到流泪。

第二天经过城市的时候,可爱的他们依然站在烈日下检查过往的车辆和行人。

这一次,他们没有“放过”我。

“告诉我们你今晚打算住在哪里?”

“我,还不知道。”

“这个地方有三个旅馆,露营地在25公里以外的地方。”

于是他们“尾随”着我,找到了这间5欧元的旅馆,直到入住,他们才安心的离开.

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