Posted by: returnoftheheroes | July 31, 2008

Day 11 and 12

Youd’d think i would start gettign used to these keybopards after a while but i’ m not so stand by for some more q’s where there should be a’s and the like

so we left you on tender hooks at my latest driving infraction ib the capital of mori, we spent the night in the Auberge Le Dunes which was a suitably seedy place to spend the night. the usual supper of Tagine and Frites. we couldn’t quite identifiy the meat, i’m sticking with it beign chicken but Dustie is pretty sure that it isn’.t

so we left bright and early. i navigated us onto a route heading tot he North East town of Atar 400 km away and in the middle of the desert. fortunatley it became pretty obvious after a while based onthe suns positiobn relative to our own. so fortunatley watchign all that Ray Mears has paid off a little and we did a quick You turn after 10 mins and headed out of town the correct way witht he sun in the right position.

The first couple fo hours was the usual deserty landscape, the dunes here and there0. the landscape really doesn’t lend itself to eye spy very easily. pretty much four guesses and you will have eli,inated 98% of what can be seen. but then we broke into the open country and if became quite obvious that it was the rainy season.

Mauritania wasn,t deserty, it was pretty damn green. everywhere we could see was green witht hese massive openlandscapes. it was liek this for a while when we started to hit the mountainious region of Mauri which was very pleasent. the Hills relly pop up and have some fantastic wind swept shapes (oh and if you think i’m getting a lmittle unduely excited about this; all we’ve seen for the last week is desert, so yeah keep it to yourself)

unfortunatley we started hittign a slight problem abotu 200km west of Kiffa, we had to fill up our Green Machine from the jerry cans as we were out of petrol, normally not a problem but in the last 500 km we had no passed a single petrol station. plenty of diseal stations  but no petrol. we rolled into Kiffa pretty much of fumes to find the only petrol station east of the capital jsut about where we duely filled up  and continued onwards to Ayuone and what a treat that place was.

We arrived after dark along a road which in parts threaterned to shake and rattle our entire car to pieces, raced against a meercedes which was trying to pull us over or soemthing with some random person telling us to stop. Unfortunqtley for him there was little chence of that as it was dark, they were all over the shop and we’ve got a timetable to keep. anyways Ayoune we managed to bloz right through it missing the only hotel in town before hitting another Aurberge. Seriously tell your friends about this place. we were shozn a room for 20 euro which was jsut under 120F and only contained a half the known bug population in the world. we alternatively cooked supper and killed bugs in there ,for an hour before we decided the flea encrusted matterasses where a poor choice compared to our tent. so we ended up camping int he courtyard. and before we hear talk of us being scardy cats. these aren’t your regular bugs these where the size of half your thumb big beasts. we kept killign them and ,ore would turn up to collect the freshly killed.

So we got up early and hightailed it to the border. almost blew through the Carnet Checkpoint. to be honest the whole Mauri Mali border was extremely painless. the Mauri’s unliek the ithe Morrocans didn’t keep us for like 5 hours and the Mali just gave us some stampos and the like for some money.

 

Mali somehow seemed to be completley different but still the same. the people right from the start were far more african as to arab like across the border, the clothing changed as well from the big arab robes to the more fo the colourful pajama ghet up popular in west africa. and some how there were even less people.

 fantastic road from the border right intot he capital. not a lot to be said except i think we will be filling up with prtrol inthe big stations as petrol inthe smaller places is sold by the bottle. and then we hit Bamako

Our first taste of a big african city. lets jsut say we spend 3-‘4 hours driving around tryign to make any sence of the city layout. and then we got another infraction. these cops seem to be jsut waiting for a slip up. this one was a particular dick. cost us 40 euros which sucked. we firs tof all found a hotel clsoe tot he centre of the tozn north fo the river. when i say it was a htoel i think it was more likely a hostel for the recently released and the insane. the green machine was beign scoped immediatlmey as we came in. we left about 10 mins later after sayign we were just poping out for a bite to eat.

we ende dup saying in a great hotel jsut south of the river a little expensive but by this point it didn’t matter. it had cold beer and hot chicken and now we’re off to see the mud mosque.

A few things to note

There are checkpoints through out. they are all desperate to stop and speak to us. they all ask for a present but we jsut play dumb. but its wears you down and adds to the journey time which is a pain. anyways i’m sure its jsut going to get worse as we hit Nigeria.

Guards at the border

Guards at the border

Green Desert

Green Desert

Inquistive goats

Inquistive goats

Camels in the desert

Camels in the desert

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