Blogs from Mauritania, Africa


Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti December 24th 2019

Quando una nazione genera quasi il 50% delle sue esportazioni da un solo prodotto, si suppone che per lo meno abbia sviluppato le infrastrutture necessarie ad una sua rapida e sicura movimentazione. Tanto di cappello percio' alla Mauritania, un paese quasi del tutto sprovvisto di trasporti pubblici ma che scarrozza il suo prezioso minerale ferroso da una miniera in pieno deserto fino ad un porto sull'oceano bene al sicuro su di un convoglio di piu' di 200 carri merci che vanno a formare uno dei treni piu' lunghi e pesanti al mondo; grazie alla SNIM (la Societa' Nazionale delle Miniere e delle Industrie) la Mauritania si assicura anche una forma di trasporto pubblico del tutto insperata: una carrozza passeggeri viene agganciata in fondo alla fila e cosi', partendo da Nouadhibou sulla costa, i mauritani possono raggiungere ... read more
La mia ombra dalla cima di una duna
Chinguetti: Il minareto della vecchia moschea
Il mio vagone privato

Africa » Mauritania March 23rd 2018

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee I really like this quote as it illustrates my longing to journey to Mauritania quite nicely. It has been a dream to travel to this unlikely destination over the last few years. I am unsure what drove me to imagine this place however it took ahold of me, enough to board a flight to Africa. Perhaps its that very little is known about it or was it the rawness of the harsh realities of the environment and its people. Whatever it was this was one of those occasions which set my soul on fire. To get to the start line of Mauritania was a big task however jumping in to discover its treasures is a totally different thing. "Ignore all warnings.... ... read more
Ship graveyard, Nouadhibou
Not all warnings are created equal
Saharan sunrise on the Iron ore train

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 September 28th 2011

W drodze do ambasady mijamy sprzedawcow jakis drewnialych bryl. Co to jest? kokosy! facet stoi z meczetą,sieka wydlubuje otworek i pijesz, potem sieka dalej i wyjmuje to, co potem idzie na wiorki, z tym ze tutaj teraz jest miekkie i pyszne. Zreszta jak orzeszki ziemne- tu tez sa swieże, miekkie,soczyste i smakują troche jak zielona fasolka.Te duże kokosy maja nawet sporo mleczka. W bamako kupilismy wize do Senegalu na miesiac za 5000CFA na osobe, czyli super -sprawdza sie po raz kolejny, ze lepiej zalatwiac wizy w Afryce. Taniej i szybciej, prawie od reki. Zreszta tak jak wiza do Mali -w Nuakchott tez szybko i ok.15euro na osobe. Wiec ile moze kosztowac tranzytowa do Mauretanii? Na wywieszce pod ambasadą jest napisane, ze 31tys frankow/os. Zniesmaczeni ze tak drogo pytamy pana konsula czy ma tansze np.tranzytowe,a ... read more
pokolonialny budynek "żelaznej drogi"czyli niestety już prawie nie działającego dworca kolejowego

Africa » Mauritania September 2nd 2011

Stasiek wraca z wizami :) Wojtek cisnie na gaz pedzimy w strone granicy,nocleg 100km przed granica, mile sniadanie i na granice. Zatrzymuje nas policja i sprawdzaja sie niepokoje wojtka,pytaja o ubezpieczenie ktore skonczylo sie dwa dni wczesniej ze wzgledu na czekanie na wize.Na szczescie skonczylo sie na mandacie za niby przekroczenie predkosci . Jestesmy w Mauretanii,przestrzegani przez wszystkich jaka Mauretania ciezka i niezyczliwa czekamy w strachu na pierwsze posterunki. Pierwsza kontrol dokumetow prosza o fiszki dajemy fotokopie paszportow, Bon voyage i jedziemy dalej, tak kolejne posterunki nie wiemy o co chodzi nikt nie wsadza lapy do samochodu po kase. Ibrahim ten od kawalu jadac z nami do Dakhli mowil "Ci zolnierze na granicy tak gadaja na tych mauretanczykow a tak naprawde to oni sa gorsi,nie chcieli mnie puscic na granicy jak nie dam im 50euro,mimo ... read more
tak,tam na gorze to ja! tak tez mozna tu podrozowac.
ocean IV eleven ;)
cepelka rekodzielnicza

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Chinguetti April 2nd 2011

I am on the back of a Ute high above the roof sitting on some bags. It’s pitch black and I am concentrating so I don’t fall asleep. If I do and fall off no one would know for a while. Only one other guy is up there with me and he is facing the other way - The rest of the passengers are squeezed inside. There is no evidence to suggest that I am in the Sahara. It’s just the sound of the tyres crossing compact sand. It’s cold and we are driving at a fair pace. I thought the toughest part of the trip was over but I was only in the middle. I didn’t know it then but by late afternoon I would be stood up by camel. I heard an irregular sound ... read more
2 - Old town Chingetti the former Capital of the Moors
3 - Ready to start gutting at the Fish market Nouakchout
4 - Me with Chingetti locals taken by a kid

Africa » Mauritania » Adrar » Choum March 31st 2011

Will there be somewhere for me to sit down, lay down? Will I have to stand up the whole time? What about a toilet? Will I be able to breath? Where’s my luggage going to go? Even if I am able to sit or lay down, what’s the state of the floor or seat? Will I be able to cope catching an iron ore train for 12 hours not equipped for humans and getting sand blasted by the Sahara for my troubles? I crossed over from Morocco and we cross the train line, which was going through maintenance so that brought confidence and concern at the same time. I reached Nouadhibou, which is the second biggest city in Mauritania. It is used for its port and is a desert landscape. It is also the location to ... read more
2 - The station
3 - the train going the other way
4 - view from the window

Africa » Mauritania » Dakhlet Nouadhibou » Nouadhibou December 11th 2010

We were excited to hit our second country of the trip – or third official territory! Albeit probably the most dodgy country we would be visiting in terms of current political unrest. The border is notorious for taking a while.... but this time it was the Moroccans who decided to hold us up. We spent about 4-5 hours on the Moroccan side trying to exit, I think Mauritania had us stamped in in about an hour. Ridiculous really being harder to leave a country than enter one!! I think the most interesting aspect of our border experience was the no man’s land – always a place I find surreal. This particular no man’s land was a cross between a car graveyard, an abandoned fridge graveyard and random locals trying to solicit random business. It was desolate ... read more
Our guards at the bush camp in Mauritania
Tent we slept in Nouadhibou
Nouackhott street markets

Africa » Mauritania November 27th 2010

Cute, very cute we were, but even more naive....The bus ride from Bamako to Nouakchott was indeed a bit more than the promised 30 hours, which I also mentioned in the previous blog entry. I would have settled for 40, but in the end it became 50 hours. Ok truth be told: we arrived just a bit too late at the border, so we were forced to sleep there. But the Mauritanian customs were nice and suggested to sleep next to the cabin of the border police: more safe. Ok safe it was, but still cold.... But the ride in itself was uneventful, too many 'security' checks, but that's ok. The bus attendants wanted to collect bribe money to pay the police at the checkpoint, but we did not fall for it. They explained that we ... read more
Mosquée Saudique
Hauling in today's catch
The colorful boats

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