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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Mauritania - 26 October, 2000



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Sahara Desert bush campsite N1920.424' W01630.361'  - 2 m
Finish Nouakchott (campsite in center of town) N1805.350' W01558.700' 27 m 175 km


6,792 km


Weather: Light, high altitude clouds, sunny and very hot.  Windy and dusty.  Warm in the evening.  Weather is starting to get more tropical.



Daily Journal Entry:

Today we need to hang around and wait for the tide to go out in order for us to complete our desert crossing.  After preparing breakfast, we hang around and relax.  We need to drive the next 75 kilometers on the beach at low tide on the hard sand as the desert here becomes to soft to drive on.


Mauritania00_SaharaDayFour_BeachDrive_869_Web.gif (216980 bytes)

At 12:30, the tide has gone out far enough for us to start the drive.  But first we have to drive onto the beach over some soft sand dunes.  We get stuck and have to pull out the sand mats and shovels and slowly inch our way onto the beach.  Once we are on the beach, we should not stop moving as we do not want to get stuck.  If you get stuck, you may not get out and the rising tide will cause havoc with the truck.  We drove by one truck that had gotten stuck and looked like it had been there for a while.  It was buried in the sand beyond it's axle.  We right in the front roof seats and get a great view of the beach and the many birds.  We pass a number of small fishing villages.


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There were a number of other cars and trucks that were doing the same thing.  A few cars passed us.  A couple of trucks came the other way that were quite a sight.  Heavily loaded with people and goods.  Some looked like they were about to topple over.  The beach drive was about two hours and covered about 75 kms.


After leaving the beach, we stopped for lunch (the cook group used our left over food (chick pea soup and rice pudding) while the drivers put air back into the tires and brought them up to normal pressure.  We then drove on a very bumpy track towards Nouakchott, arriving at about 6:00 PM.  We stop near the market and the cook group goes out does some shopping for dinner.  We walk around the market.  It is quite crowded and dirty.  This is much more like the Africa you hear about.


We get to the campsite at 7:00 PM - it is right in the center of the city.  The cook group prepares dinner while most of us start to clean up the truck (which is very dusty and full of sand).  We pull out all the dishes and cooking gear and wash them and the boxes they are stored in.  We will do the rest of the truck tomorrow.  After dinner, we take a shower cleaning off 4 days of sand, dust and dirt.  We greatly enjoy the shower!!!


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