9th story: Mauritania (08.02.05 - 20.02.05)

We were glad to reach the Mauritanian check post after 4km of real sandy paste. Luckily we could pay for our visa in Moroccan currency (50 Euros per person). Right after the border we met excellent tarmac again. Just shortly before the junction to Nouadhibou we crossed the tracks of “famous” iron ore train. A few minutes later we even saw one!

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Not very long again you had to take the train east in order to hit a real road to go to Nouakchott. Now they are building a new road connecting Nouadhibou and Nouakchott. About half of the 450km is good tarmac, the rest still piste.

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After the first 26km of good tarmac with strong headwind we reached the first stretch of sandy piste. We were able to actually cycle some parts, but very often we had to push our bikes. We were glad when we reached tarmac again the following day. Unfortunately the wind was blowing right into our faces, which slowed us done quite a bit. There were so called shops along the road about every 30 to 50 km so we able to stock up on food and water. There was no variety, though, it was pasta with tomato sauce and tinned vegetables every day! Worst of all our cooking stove stopped working … . Luckily we were able to buy a gas stove the next day.

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We were very happy to reach Nouakchott after 6 days: finally a shower and decent food.
Nouakchott was the real first town after Dakhla. After the solitude of the dessert it nearly a shock to be surrounded by all these people.

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It was another 210 km through the desert to the border town of Rosso. Here we took the ferry to cross the Senegal River and to enter Senegal.

Though crossing the Sahara was really hard work, we really enjoyed it and belive it to be one of the highlights of this trip.

>> 10th story: Rosso to Dakar