Kathie's 30th - Camels in Chinguetti

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October 20th 2007
Published: November 4th 2007
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After a night in Nouakchott to shower and catch up on food shopping we ventured away from the coast inland to the old trading city of Chinguetti. Once a major player in Mauritania, it is still considered by Mauritanians to be one of the holiest places in Islam. The city itself is a shadow of its former self and is slowly giving way to the sands of the desert that surround it. It's incredible to see the many buildings that are half-burried in the sand, and one can only think that it is one major sand storm away from completely disappearing.

How many people get to celebrate their 30th birthday in an ancient city in the middle of the desert? Naturally, camel riding seemed like a unique way to celebrate! They're such funny looking animals, but somehow manage to maintain a certain charm about them. They're loud, smelly, and protest defiantly as we tried to mount them. Once we were up and away the ride was actually quite graceful, and aside from the edges of the saddle that dug into our thighs it was like sitting in a really high rocking chair. We both had a blast. That evening we enjoyed a bottle of wine that we managed to smuggle into the alcohol-free state, and that night's cook group somehow put together a birthday cake made of mixed fruit, cookies, and a flashlight in the middle as a candle.

On the way back from Chinguetti we stopped for a night at the Terjit Oasis. A beautiful village tucked into a gorge with a tropical oasis at its base. It was really nice to soak in the oasis to escape the heat.

Additional photos below
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Driving 2Driving 2
Driving 2

The four canucks wearing Dave's hats!
Driving 5Driving 5
Driving 5

The shipping crate hotel. High class by Mauritanian standards.
Driving 6Driving 6
Driving 6

A very official looking sign. We're not typically supposed to take photos at police stops...

5th November 2007

Is the shipping crate hotel....literally that is the hotel, in the picture there? Or am I having a case of the Mondays and not seeing the joke?!

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