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Published: December 8th 2007
The Moroccan side of the border took us just over 3 hours to get through, lot of bureaucracy we got stopped no less than 3 times within the frontier, police stop, army stop etc. Then after we are through comes 3 km of no mans land full of garbage and abandoned cars, we stopped a moment to help a stranded car in the sands little did we know we will get stuck as well, out the tire mats and we worked hard to dig betsy out and by the time we got to the Mauritanian frontier it was quarter to 3, the border closed from 1pm to 3pm for lunch, but we hadnt had lunch yet so we set up our kitchen right at the border and have to catch up with the truck as it was summoned for inspection; after about an hour we are finally through to Mauritania; picked up our guide Mohammed and off we go to Noadhibou where we camped at the smallest camp site yet so far for us, it was so cramped there is hardly a space to set the tent up but most of us camped at the traditional tent they have there, we
met some of the overlanders from Marrakech and Essaouira and some annoying middle aged Frenchman who keep telling us to keep quiet during the night! When we havent done anything yet to rile him up, we all had our well needed shower after a week of roughing it, we all smell good again, the next day went to town, changed money and shopped for food. When we finished we did our souvenir shopping, the girls bought some local fabrics and i bought myself a ^pair of new flip flops. Lunch was at this seafood restaurant owned by a nice Gambian Momma, A fellow from Mali who he claimed to be a guide helped us to find a good place to eat and it was delish, he brought us back to camp and refused a tip from us, he was just generally being kind. That afternoon left the camp site and bush camped near the beach just outside the city, mohammed brought his fisherman friend with him but did not catch a single thing.Stewart and i went for a walk along the beach and found a teak, I jokingly suggested we bring it back as firewood nd he agreed and he
was serious about it and made me carry with him that heavy load, thank god for Mark who happen to be walikng around collecting sea shells; the 3 of us brought it back and came back for one more near the shore.
The next day we camped along the sands, it was quite windy and our cook group made some Filipino dish called pancit. And then the next day we set up camp inside the Parg nacional du Banc D Arguin; while lounging around we noticed a truck from a distance coming close to us, it is Tonka the Dragoman truck! but now it has passengers; about a dozen of them some are travel agebts from Scandinavia who get to do the trip for free as drago is trying to enter the Scandinavian market; these guys are there to experience overlanding, nice people they are, but the Scandi folks are the friendliest and hung out most of the night with us, we went inside Tonka and they had a look at Betsy.
Early rise to both trucksand said our goodbyes Tonka is only doing Mauritania but we have to move on towards Mali. We got stuck a lot
BETSY AND TONKA
this time and sand mats were out couple times at one point we managed to lose 2 of them and have to get back to retrive them; at the Parc entrance we got fined 40,000 for bringing in the truck and the park official got bombarded with commnets from us and he suddenly said he cant understand English, our guide Di was so pissed for the hefty fine she plans to report him when we get to Nouakchott.
We finally got to a bush camp near the parg as the tides had gone in we have to wait out the night, the local kids are watching our evry move and we bought fish from the locals and they had fun watching us gut and scale them; we have to move our tents away from the shore that night as the waves are getting bigger and bigger; the next morning we left just past 1pm towards Nuakchott; we hit the tarmac and a fast drive to town and we are staying in a camp site cramped with independent overlanders mostly french: As we try to get to town an SUV pulled on the side of the road to help us
and gave us their maps, turned out to be American Embassy people, they were so nice and friendly and Tash had a crush on the fellow driving the SUV shejokingly asked me to lose my passport so we could meet them up again. Tomorrow is the start of the longest bush camp so far for us, 10 days of rough camping to Bamako in Mali and that is where you hear from me next.
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