On board we meet a man-mountain called Hamed, an Egyptian ex-copper and international water polo player now working in the region for the U.N. and a font of local knowledge.
In particular, this involved warnings about the lawlessness of the 1,000km stretch of desert road between Agadir and Dakhla. So far, so useful.
Unless, that is, you want to settle down for fitful kip - head drumming against darkened window with every bump and pothole - without fear of a stick up.
Or worse. These roads are known for the nasty surprises that lie just off the beaten track – land mines (and lots of them) dating back to the 75 to 78 Saharan War.
Hamed bails out halfway around 7am in Laayounne. We exchanged details and bade sleepy farewells.