Farewell to the desert

Farewell to the desert

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One of the most difficult things in the cycling trip through Africa's entry into the big cities, especially capital. The suburbs stretch for miles, garbage and sand road flooding, drivers drive like crazy, Pedestrians seem to just ignore us and pushed under the wheels, children pop out of the ground, and the ubiquitous dogs, goats and donkeys did not help anything. In addition to the already successful break into the city rarely what man is there he meets an earlier effort worth. However, traveling from country to country is not really possible to get around large cities usually only there because you can get the visa formalities. For this reason, we enter the Nouakchott, Mauritania capital. But before we go on in search of the embassy krusing check Senegal accommodation options. For travelers on a budget, Nouakchott has actually only two taverns (which, apart from the name they have nothing in common with those in the desert, they are simply hostels prepared for backpakersach). Choose the one that has the advantage of unbeatable - washing machine :) Despite the undeniable pleasure trouser suit which was scented washing liquid rather than soft soap of this kind do not belong to our favorite. Separated from the rest of the city by a high wall offer visitors a mental return home. Comfortable beds, shower, Internet, foreign newspapers, expensive drinks from the fridge, and meals served with knife and fork. We meet travelers sit for weeks in such oases often throughout your stay without leaving them even once. They feel comfortable and safe there. They walk barefoot, lying down in hammocks and toys decorated with the tourists sipping coca cola. We feel, They're wasting time, so we try to avoid such places of accommodation in, but do not really have any other choice is to use this kind of stops the bike MOT, hardware refresh, general laundry and scrubbing. And of course a visit to embassies.

Do not anticipated any problems sorting out a visa for Senegal, therefore have to be pretty stupid our faces as the consul said, that, unfortunately, we can not issue a visa because we are not resident in Mauritania, and supports only resident embassy of Mauritania. Unfortunately, the level of our French did not allow us to thoroughly understand the problem, but the solution was to be thirty-"residence card" which you can get from the police. Until now, we had only a few times in contact with the police and the Moorish always wanted money from us, or at least a "gift"(in contrast to the police), So we went to the meeting prepared: brought along some "świerczewskich" or PRL and grand banknotes :) Station to which the officer directed us to the embassy was closed (whatever that means ...) So we went to another specified by the guard. Were surprised a little bit like we found at the address in the Olympic Stadium, rather than police. But the experience taught, Mauritania that nothing is ever what it seems that we looked into the. A tam .... twenty uniformed in white room smoke-spisywało, interrogated, fotografowało citizens, something aloud who explained, shouting, awanturowali the, well as the police .... All this noise just suddenly froze as we noticed. Sheepishly apologized, Lords that interrupted the work and explained the purpose of our visit. All sat quietly as a mouse in church listening to the white folks explain in broken French, they wanted to be a resident of Mauritania. Fortunately, the gentlemen officers proved to be very forgiving. We were seated at two different ends of the room (one half of the room was meant for women and one for men), We zaświecili bulbs in the face (as in "Dog") and began hearing. My policeman began on whether this guy (pointed to Adam) This is my husband or maybe I'm free, just because he is looking for a wife from America. But I am of Polish sir. Oh, it does not matter, the Polish also can be ... After gentle admirer and time deduction przeliterowywania names, name, address (too much "sh" and "man") got a piece of paper on which was written in Arabic, that we have been awarded a residency at 30 days (similar, because the only thing we understood it 30 days because it was written digit :) So Senegal, here we come! :)

However, before we left the city of Nouakchott decided to give us a chance to enchant. Not really succeeded. As I said African cities are rarely pretty (apart from a few exceptions, which soon).


But obkupiliśmy on the market in the couscous and peanuts for the next six months :) and in the port skusiliśmy on fresh fish, which befriended the French helped us prepare a fantastic dinner with smuggled wine ;)


Nouakchott was leaving us less than 300 kilometers to the border. For four days we planned to be in Senegal. Meanwhile, as soon as we left the city landscape has changed so dramatically in comparison to that which prevailed in the north, that it was hard to believe, it still Mauritania. Yes, the wind still blowing in our face, every day there were sandstorms, side of the road was littered with further post-accident cars, but at the same time there was a whole range of colors. Trees, shrubs, colorfully dressed women and children.


Tin-wooden houses and white tents of the north of the country replaced the colorful village, and in each well, fikuśny shop and mosque. And all colored, mainly yellow, pink and purple, even mosques. Maybe the choice of colors discussion ;) but how you made fun.






So charmed us this sudden change, that we were shooting even after the country over the next 1,5 of the week, using the welcome of our favorite taverns, that is simple, dormitory tents.


Yet to extend our stay in Mauritania, while avoiding the corrupt officials famous border crossing in Rosso we turned into a side road leading through the National Park to the small border crossing picturesquely situated on the River Senegal. Another advantage was to be newly laid asphalt. Colleague, who passed that way three years ago, was seen as the work was finished on a new path. In three years, even Poles can put 75 kilometers of the road, So as we found, that we are a nice ride through the park. Taaaak. See picture below? This white on the right is the new way, still under construction ... and to the left of us, rip through the sand and dust, what bike weighing some 50 pounds and with 40 degree heat is a real pleasure. We recommend ;)



Oh and one last night with the gendarmerie. This time we were looking for them, because only rushes around and mosquitoes, and even the smallest space for tent.