PawelK    Podróże    Across Africa by all means. Mainly cycling....    The last port of call
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The last port of call

Mauritania, Nouakchott
Przejechano 17155 km

It was a sandstorm in Nouakchott. The dark sky, strong northeaster and a lot of sand with dust had been all over when I came to town. The sun was far away behind the thick layer of dust in the air. The visibility was reduced; even flights, as I learned later, had been cancelled. I got there quite early since my distance for that day wasn't too long. I was going to meet William, another Damco’s manager in Africa; this one was for Mauretania. Thanks to Filip from Burkina, he was going to help me up with accommodation for two nights.

We met only in the evening so I had half a day for the internet updates and a bit of sightseeing; if you like to call it that way. I just cycled through the town in search of the place where we were going to meet. It was quite funny since I didn't remember full name of the place and I was trying to get my bearings asking the way knowing only that my way was wrong.
More or less, with a help of another foreigner and his phone I found the place. It was a kind of a supermarket. I sat there on my bike and observed people for a while; these who were going to the supermarket and the ones who were serving them. It was already dark, the wind was blowing sand dunes across a big junction, traffic police was trying to work, but with the pitiful results. It looked if nobody knew here how to drive according to the traffic rules or they were all off drivers, who had been driving 4X4 on sand dunes or one tar road all their life and suddenly drove into a town and didn’t know what to do with more than 2 lines of the tar road. Very funny to look at! So I was just sitting there on a side of the supermarket; dirty after not washing my clothes for around 1000km from Bamako, not having my beer for a quite long time and not smelling well. I wasn't looking like any man in this country. Beggars and some small street sellers still tried to get their bit out of me; unfortunately, with no result.

Rich white Maurs are in very nice cars, sometimes even with whole families, but black servants open the doors, do the cleaning or beg for money - this is Mauretania, I think. The dust is sweeping across a newly built road, the policemen are trying to manage the traffic, black people work for white Maurs! Almost all products in the shops are imported and all the same. And everywhere is desert. I won’t stay here for long, but it is truly unusual place! From now on I will be going through the desert up to north Morocco where I’ll see greenery again!
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shangrila - 2011-10-26 16:01
I'm looking at your map and can't believe :) Long way after you man. What will happen next? After Marocco? maybe "brand new Libia" without Kadaffi would be a good idea?

Keep rolling and see you somewhere on the road. Or maybe in Poland? We will be there next year hopefully :)

Pawel Kilen
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