Blogs from Nouakchott, Trarza, Mauritania, Africa

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Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott April 16th 2012

Sunday Day 36 Today we crossed into Mauritania! The border opened just after 9am and the truck was squeezed into the queue which had become quite long. We were to walk across as the truck is sent through an x-ray and also checked for alcohol, Mauritania being a dry country. Dressed in long sleeves, long pants and proper shoes (rather than the flip flops or sandals that have given us our fantastic tan lines), we filled in the necessary paperwork and lined up to receive our exit stamp. The wind was again blowing sand into eyes, ears and mouths and I looked on almost enviously at the local women in burqas. Our passports were checked again by friendly Moroccan officials and then we had to go and register our departure with another official. It was all ... read more
Squinting in the bright sun
Bringing in the catch
Fishing from the beach

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott April 23rd 2010

Climbed into the iron ore train after only an hour of waiting.I'm pretty sure I was the only female in the open bines section (no ticket required), and definitely the only tourist, but I got lucky and rode with three very nice and experienced guys. They had warm blankets and quickly set up a sand firepit in the corner and we had a freshly cooked beef stew tangine and plenty of tea for the trip. The open desert and starry night were wonderful, and the train was a lot more comfortable than expected, even got some good sleep in between the occasional jolt of cars crashing together. Arrived in Zuerat, feeling quite safe despite the hype; one thing that helps is that every police or army officer i have met has been very nice and there ... read more

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott June 3rd 2009

So that’s it for Mauritania. I'm off to Senegal tomorrow. So the desert ended well. Evoku took me to his parents place in Atar the last night and got me in a cab to Choum the following day to catch a train to Nouadibou. Evoku’s family is very cute --- his wife, it turns out, is only 16 and they’ve been married for six years! Anyway, I find myself having strange paternal instincts, which must be due to a lack of intoxicants --- will cure that soon. So I got on the train with a feisty old Frenchman named Jacques. The Mauritanians thought he was Jewish because he looks a bit that way (to Mauritanians), although it probably had more to do with him arguing over the ticket price (again fitting Mauritanian's stereotypes). The train was ... read more
Out the train window
The Adrar
More Mauritania

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott May 26th 2009

Still in Nouachott! I was thinking about leaving today but decided to wait until tomorrow to exchange money. Plus I don’t feel like traveling yet. It’s nice here, although not too much to do. Went to the port-au-peche with Kiryomi and Eri yesterday. This idiot asshole rich-boy Mauritanian drove us. He drove like an idiot with s**tty music blaring and almost hit a kid. He showed no inclination to honk or slow down. Took us to some resort beach, not to the port-au-peche and then told us that we couldn’t go to the port-au-peche because the police would stop us and it was closed anyway because it was Friday. It was all bulls**t. We ditched his pathetic ass (it was blatantly obvious he was only interested in the girls and swimming --- sorry a**hole!) and went ... read more
Fishermen and their boats
Nouachott
Matthias

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott May 24th 2009

Well it wasn’t Europeans/North Americans I met, but it was Westerners (sort of) --- Japan. Two girls, Kiryomi and Eri, whom I met them at 4 am in Dakhla. We then took a truck to Nouadibou, Mauritania. The Moroccan - Mauritanian border…WOW! It’s mined and for three KMs of no-mans land there’s really no road at all, just a path (sort of). Anyway, finally we got to the Mauritanian “customs post” where I get a three day visa for ten Euros. Well that meant I had to go to Nouachott right away. Actually this worked out because the two girls were headed there too. They don’t speak any (much) French and Kyomi is the only one who speaks English, so I can help them out that way. In Nouadibou we stayed at camping ABBA. What a ... read more
Camping ABBA
From Nouadibou to Nouachott

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott December 5th 2008

(Copied from email to family) Hey Guys!! Managed to find the dodgy-est (sp) internet cafe in Mauritania. I actually have a bit of time to tell you about the stuff ive been up to. Trouble is I cant really remember it now. Only when I walk away from the computer will it flood back. I can tell you about recent events but it may sound a bit dodgy. Awesome times though. Sorry my email on Morocco was a bit short, but I didnt really fnid the place enthralling at all. The towns were either amazingly touristy or amazingly samey with the same amount of crap in each. The majority of the truck simply engaged in large amounts of steak eating before we hit the poorer regions or copious amounts of NcDonalds. Souvenirs from morocco therefore simply ... read more

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott September 19th 2008

Yep I made it, thought hours of waiting at the border, no I mean HOURS, really, in hte very baking sun, thankyou very much, a stint in no mans land, with with the three good friends I've made on hte way, and am still travelling with, we claim sovereignty over, call it Dayvéque, in hnour of Quebeqois friend David, and roll out a surprisingly american sounding constitutuion, for a great laugh, and we make it though to Nouadhibou. mmm what a wonder of a place. Sure, the road from Dakhla was LONG, but very scenic, did I say long, well there was sand and sand dunes, stones, larger stones and lots of sun. Actually I have seen a good whole week of pretty similar stuff in Mauritania too, though framed and divided in to plateaus and ... read more

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott July 16th 2008

so today Im in nouackchott, theres not much here and Im just resting before I head for saint louis (senegal) through rosso. thus, Ive decided to talk about lariam. honestly, I was quite curious about the effects this antipaludic might have on me, or on anybody else for that matter (as I manifested by asking about it to any single person that had taken it). these effects, besides prevcenting mmalaria with about a 90% of effectiveness are mainly psicological and range from VIVID dremas to mild hallucinations, passing by the always sweet road of paranoia. I had heard people having some crazy ing dreams, not nightmares, just dreams so intense that wouldnt let them rest. heard of others having strong paranoia, which might be quite fun when youre the only skinny weak white piece of around. ... read more

Africa » Mauritania » Trarza » Nouakchott October 18th 2007

While the cities in Mauritania are anything but special, the drive from Nouadhibou to Nouakchott was far and away the highlight of the trip on the Dover to Dakar section. There is a brand new tarmac'd highway linking the two cities, but if we took that it would entirely defeat the purpose of travelling overland. A little sandmatting was certainly worth the effort in order to experience the real Sahara. Part 2 of this drive took us along the beach through a bird sanctuary and national park. When we arrived at the beach we had to wait around for several hours to allow the tide to go out so that there would be a large enough strip of firm sand to drive on. Once the tide was out far enough we were only about 10 to ... read more
Desert 1
Desert 2
Desert 3




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