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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Mauritania - 25 October, 2000

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Sahara Desert bush campsite N2003.635' W01604.423'  29 m
Finish Sahara Desert bush campsite N1920.424' W01630.361'  - 2 m 109 km

Total:

6,617 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny and very hot.  Mild wind.  Very dusty.  Cool/warm in the evening and night after the sun goes down. Small, wisp, high altitude clouds begin to appear in the afternoon.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

We are awake at 6:00 AM and we are able to watch the sunrise from our tent as we laid in our sleeping bags (we did not have the fly on the tent).  It was a great morning.  After breakfast at 7:50 AM, we pack up the campsite and we are off at 8:45 AM.

 

Mauritania00_SaharaDayThree_TruckBogged_Lars_855_Web.gif (187468 bytes)

Today, we manage to get stuck in the sand a bit more and we run into one stretch where we get stuck multiple times. We finally start to do what we are supposed to do - dig out the truck (which you recall is 17 tonnes).  So what happens when we get stuck in the sand.  First, everyone has to get off.  We grab the shovels and dig the sand away from the wheels and from between the two rear tires.

 

Mauritania00_SaharaDayThree_TruckBogged_Lars_857_Web.gif (191055 bytes)

Then we need to put the sand mats in place in front of each tire.  The sand has to be dug away so that the tire can get up and on the sand mat so that it can get some traction and speed.

 

Mauritania00_SaharaDayTwo_TruckBogged_Lars_826_Web.gif (172904 bytes)

The truck then drives off and we hope that it has enough speed and momentum to make it to firm sand (if not, everything is repeated until it does).

 

Mauritania00_SaharaDayThree_TruckBogged_Jac_861_Web.gif (198416 bytes)

We all then need to grab the shovels and sand mats and catch up to the truck.  And some times we have to cover quite a lot of distance.  The truck does not stop until it reaches firm sand or until it becomes bogged down again.

 

Mauritania00_SaharaDayThree_TruckBogged_AirOut_Drivers_863_Web.gif (189808 bytes)

And if the sand gets too soft and the truck keeps getting stuck, the drivers may let some more air out of the tires.  This needs to be carefully considered, as there are problems associated with running on tires with low pressure.  Here are our fearless leaders letting out the air. (Adi, here finally is a picture of Rick!!!  We hope we got his better side.)

 

Mauritania00_SaharaDayThree_Walk_Jac_865_Web.gif (198451 bytes)

We drove  for a while on the low pressure, but when we reached much firmer sand, it was decided to put air back in the tires.  The truck has an air compressor on board, so it is not too difficult (just takes some time).  We (along with Arian and Marjo) decide to walk ahead of the truck in the desert.  It starts to get hot and we are looking for water (just kidding). The driver is nice enough to pick us up so we are not really stranded in the desert.

 

We get to our campsite at 4:00 PM and have a relaxing hour until we need to cook dinner.  Mark helps us get creative, and we pull out the oven, put it on the fire and cook up some pizzas.  Yes, we had pizzas in the middle of the Sahara Desert, and they were quite good.  We have all sorts of toppings.  But did we make a mess.  We used up just about every pot, dish and pan on the truck.  Clean-up was a task, but everyone helped out.

 

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