National Geographic : 1967 Nov
Dancer whirls a welcome to the Algerian oasis of Tindouf. Everywhere the party stopped, desert dwellers greeted them with elaborate ceremonies. Love of feasting and dancing runs marrow-deep in the hospitable Regui bats, leathery wanderers of the western Sahara. established, emergency rations aboard, cooks and mechanics and guides hired. Some I do not convince, and they will be at the starting line with wide eyes that fully expect to see our bones white beneath the sun. At the hour set for departure, the wind sleeps. It sleeps all day. Finally, in order to protect the yachts from encircling swarms of children, I have the Land-Rovers tow them three miles into the desert. This, then, is the inglorious start, but next morning the wind awakes, and we roll away along the asphalt lorry road we will follow for the first 330 miles of the journey (map, preceding pages). The tires hum. The people we pass, once over their first shock of aston ishment, cheer. We shout and sing with joy. Then the young Netherlander Jorn Copijn speeds merrily toward a high tension wire. The mast strikes, the yacht staggers, scrapes free, and goes on. Jorn continues to smile. There is no current in the wire. We camp beside a wadi-a dry stream bed - in early evening. Bundled against the cold that always surprises those not used to north ern Sahara nights, we review the day's events.