Nothing to The Border

Left the town got about 500m then  stopped – fined this time for failing to stop at a halt sign – nobody in sight as I drove up at 20ks an hour exactly same procedure as day before -really a try on but I just wanted out of there so 200 dirhams it was.

Guess what more desert absolutely vast,  all you can see is sand and flat here, you really do start having visions as sky and horizon just melt in all directions – very odd. We drove for 80 miles and did not see a vehicle, Then only a few trucks, roadside repairs are common judging by massive oil slicks by roadside. Blowouts seem frequent judging by debris and scars on roads

Blowout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No wildlife at all just camels. Forgot to say no birds except on the coast further up when we went through hoards of swallows and swifts heading north plus a few flamingos in the odd coastal river that had water in it.

It was our intention to stop but there is nothing we discovered other than army posts and half built new towns. So before we knew it we were a 100Ks from border and thought lets try it.

 

Suffice to say the border crossing took 2 hours mostly on Moroccan side – a study in affected laziness until somebody flashes some cash which happened all the time. Then the tricky bit the 3ks no mans land from West Sahara to Mauritania is still a minefield with no roads. Follow tracks is the advice – question is which ones as you weave between wrecked cars. Absolutely crazy everyone including trucks etc has to bounce, slide and spin with fingers crossed. Interesting feature Satnav went into panic mode big red letters and loud voice – MINEFIELD MINEFIELD – not something you get very often.

Some minefield victims - plenty more around all over

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mauritanian side better but took another 50ks to town and that was entertaining – co pilot not happy – she should have tried driving. Rules are if you have lights no matter how many/ few they must be on full beam, this is to blind you so you can’t see the guys without any at all as they dodge the donkey carts and drive on both sides of the road in both directions at the same time, then theres the pedestrians, goats etc. Co driver was beyond whimpering – reached a state of horror stricken silence not broken until this morning .

Wandered through part of the town this morning –  nice people, laid back. Got insurance arranged for west africa – in theory anyway – only time will tell.

Camping Auberge Abba - Nouadhibou Muritania

 

 

 

 

 

Off tomorrow to wildlife park famous for birds really – Emmas threatening to get her big camera out . Make a change from camel pics anyway.

Went to main fishing port very busy, taxis are odd by Uk standards  they toot as they pass if you want a lift they stop no matter who or how many people are in there already. best one had smashed windsceen,4 passengers plus us. doors operayed by string and wires except drivers which just kept opening. Strange noises abound. but cheap 70p and freindly.

Further Adventures Of Tan Tan ( without Snowy)

Left French foreign legion early in high winds – nobody told me deserts were so windy all the time.Got more and more arid went through a nice rural town called Guelmim where lots of old landys started to appear been omnipresent ever since – we are talking 1970s models and earlier invariably loaded to the max with some unusual cargoes. Another staple is the early model transit vans which have obviously have stayed the pace when rust is not an issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driving here is very odd as previously explained saw a women on a straight road with nothing for miles unable it appears to keep it in a straight line at about 20 miles an hour then saw a driving instructors car not only two sets of controls but two steering wheels – obviously have no faith in locals driving skills either.

Ended up at a horrible camp site at Tan Tan beach by now only us and a few legionnaires. Left as soon as we could in the morning. Been true desert from then camels – dunes endless stony plains – mirages just like the films “water water oh no its a mirage you fool! etc etc” The daft thing is we both keep commenting “its very desert like isn’t it” every few miles sort of involuntary reaction. Warning signs for camels on road which are fair enough but included one for camels and butterflies??? confused we were. Explanations please.

Camels - Emmas new obsession

Another feature is suicidal birds endless roads nothing on them yet every now and then a bird gets up and always flies into the path of the car very slowly – no idea why given all their other options but thats what happens. As a result quite a few don’t make it.

Ended up in Western Sahara before we knew it – but boy do they make sure you know it . Got pulled a total of 7 times since just before lunch including what I think must be a record twice in about 20ms literally out of one into the next then, to really make my day got pulled for speeding – a “tiny fraction over” the 40k limit ( 25mph) about 50 m from the second roadblock so 3 in 70 m -take some beating I think. The road in question was a dual carriage way with no one else on it and they set the limits it seems to suit – 300 dirhams for the privilege.
A couple of hours later we had used up all our passport copies so stopped and got 50 more printed about 5 days worth at current rate.

Anyway had a good lunch between roadblocks excellent mutton tagine salad and fresh orange juice plus local bread £10 -bargain! Diesel cheapest yet about 60p/litre – remember those days.

Desert and more desert – its a big thing we have discovered a map really gives no idea how vast. About another400kms to mauritanian border then probably another 750 plus to Senegal so perhaps we will stop commenting on the desert by then.

Desert - lots of it

 

 

 

 

 

Stopped for the night in a town called Boujdour on the coast – got a definitely different flavour to Moroccan towns. Had some very tasty charcoal cooked patties,stuffed into bread for tonights sups yum yum

the desert by the sea - just like slapton but bigger - much bigger