Mauritania Part 1 - Nouadhibou and the real desert crossing

Mauritania's flag
Africa » Mauritania » Dakhlet Nouadhibou » Nouadhibou
October 17th 2007
Published: October 24th 2007
Edit Blog Post

We arrived in Nouadhibou the night of the 14th. A stark contrast to relatively civilized Morocco. This is when Kathie finally exclaimed, "okay, now we're in Africa!"

The town itself is not much to speak of, but it was a place to re-charge after a couple of nights bush camping and stock up on supplies for the 3-day journey across the sand dunes to the capital of Nouakchott.

After a short drive along the road, we left the tarmac and began our trek through the sand. Rather than roads, there are trails left behind by previous vehicles where the tracks haven't been covered by blowing sand. We would not have made it very far if we did not have our guide Ahmed with us. He is from Nouadhibou and is a very famous guide. He knows the desert like the back of his hand. He does most of his talking by pointing in the direction he wants you to go and that's how he comes by his nickname "The Finger".

Again, the photos tell the story. It's almost impossible to try and describe the scenery except to say that this and the next couple of days have been the highlight of the trip so far! We did get stuck in the sand a few times and quickly learned the ropes of "truck bogging". It's going on the resume! For the most part we only had to use the mats for a few meters before the truck was on solid ground again. Bush camping in the desert was a real treat as the stars streched as far as the eye could see in the absence of any ambient light. We just relaxed on top of a nearby dune and pondered the world.

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


Nouadhibou 3Nouadhibou 3
Nouadhibou 3

Our little tent city that follows us around everywhere we go.
Sahara 1Sahara 1
Sahara 1

The classic overloaded white van. It's a wonder that it can stay on 4 wheels!
Sahara 2Sahara 2
Sahara 2

Train as we left Nouadhibou. Jammed with people.
Sahara 5Sahara 5
Sahara 5

Jordan and Ian getting dusty on top of Daphne.
Sahara 7Sahara 7
Sahara 7

Not that it helps us blend in at all...
Sahara 8Sahara 8
Sahara 8

Camping in the nothingness of the desert. So peaceful!
Sahara 9Sahara 9
Sahara 9

Classic desktop shot!
Sahara 12Sahara 12
Sahara 12

The long-awaited sand matting begins! Start digging!
Sahara 14Sahara 14
Sahara 14

Our trip leader Dave caught in a Luke Skywalker pose. Just missing the double setting suns...
Sahara 16Sahara 16
Sahara 16

Dave and Ahmed "The Finger" (our guide famous for his pointing the way) trying to resurrect the truck from the last group that didn't make it.
Sahara 17Sahara 17
Sahara 17

It wouldn't be the middle of the desert without a camel sighting.

Tot: 0.065s; Tpl: 0.014s; cc: 12; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0358s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.1mb