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











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.

10 thoughts on “Nothing to The Border

  1. Mike / Emma – that has to be a first – ” Minefield Minefield “- who would even have guessed that a SAT NAV has such things programmed into it – I am impressed – the other drivers sound terrifying so well done you and that charcoal cooked buttie or whatever sounds a perfect way to end the day – brilliant progress – of course that means you will be checking Emma into a beachside hotel in Senegal shortly !!! – good luck xx

  2. OMG the minefield thing is scary..amazed that the GPS warns one, pity it could not warn you about the bloody road blocks. Very brave guys…and listen to the parents you don’t want it to be said like father like son in this particular instance. xx

  3. Sounds pretty interesting through mine fields a lot of adrenalin !
    I have naughty driving lecture on Monday £80 but no points your speeding tickets could add up!
    I wonder if the driving instructors have brakes that overide the learner what happens if they steer in opposite directions?……
    Taxi sounds interesting do you think it would catch on in totnes?

  4. Hi Michael & Emma, All sounds amazing so far, although I didn’t at all like the sound of the minefield bit. Looking at your intended route, I trust you have heard that there has just been a coup in Mali (Touareg rising) and Brits are advised by the Foreign Office to give it a miss. All the best

  5. Seems like you are having a proper adventure. Hope the co-pilot is ok. You not had any flat tyres yet? Mind you, you are prepared for anything!

      • OMG MINEFIELDS!!!!!

        Reminds me of the time I went off to have a poo on one (unknowingly) in the middle of the night in the Negev desert. Boy did I get a ticking off!! Please be careful but at the same time have lots of fun. Can’t wait to read the next installment…..Em – keep the faith!!!!!!

  6. Totally in awe of your adventure. Clearly building a small house on a bank in Cawsand is a ‘walk in the park’ in comparison …. and NOT adequate preparation.
    Trying to work out how I can trick ‘Sean’ [my Satnav voice] into yelling ‘Minefield Minefield’ whilst driving past the rugby ground in Twickenham…..
    Seriously enjoy it all – even the scary bits will be amazing and possibly funny to look back on.
    Love to both. Sue and James xx

  7. Hey, Where are you? Long time no blog? Hope you are alright. I am off to Malawi today – President Bingu died yesterday so I amy get in the middle of a political uprising. I am not visiting the village this time as it is too far but I hope to go again in nov and I will go then.

    Hope you have not got lost in the desert.