So, today we’re off to Mauritania, via small road through a minefield.
As such, we had an early start due to the fact that border doesn’t stay open, and there is generally a bit of a queue to get through, so we all agreed to get there about 6am.
We arrived to find that there was already in fact a queue of trucks, most of which had arrived during the night, but being cars, we could kind of sneak around the side, so we parked up and settled in for a bit of a wait.
While we were there, we spotted a manky cafe and grabbed some coffees, then proceeded to have a quick game of football with some local kids – seriously, if you take a football anywhere you can always make friends!
After a few hours, we managed to get into the first of several stuffy offices to have our documents checked, on to leave Western Sahara, then rolled through into the No Mans Land between the two countries where we met our fixer, Idoumou. He knows all the right people to, shall we say, have a private chat with to lubricate the process of the border crossing, but this still meant about 2 hours sitting down and getting photographed and other bits and pieces.
As I’ve mentioned, there is an honest to god minefield between the two countries, with a small dirt road through it which you can drive along safely. You can see a vague summary of the reasons behind the minefield here.
It’s littered with burnt out cars and general mess, but we made it through in about 20 mins, following Idoumou’s Mercedes (the older models ubiquitous to the wealthy in Africa), stopping about 5 mins onto the only road in the area to have a quick chat. This was basically to say that we were going to drive as quickly as possible south for about an hour without stopping to avoid any potential bandits or issues around Nouadhibou.
We were heading for a national park called Banc D’Anguin
Running through the jungle/desert
Racing in the sand