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