Towards Mauritania

On Boxing Day, we departed Dakhla for the Mauritanian border – a mere 350km away.  On the way, we stopped in to have a coffee with Crystal and Francesco (in their camper van) and then stopped in at Ocean Vagabond to say goodbye to Freya.  Then, onto the open road and head south.

We didn’t want to arrive at the border in the late afternoon and try to cross before dark, so we stayed at Hotel Barbas (N022 03.190’  W016 44.841’), about 80km from the border.  This was a lovely hotel built around a canopy covered courtyard, the food was tasty and the beds comfortable.  After a good night’s rest, we started early the next morning to reach the border and cross by lunch time.

So, imagine our surprise when we reached the border and were number 125 in the queue!  Shock.  After 2 hours, we had progressed to about 85 in the queue, with about another 50 cars joining the tail end … clearly going nowhere fast.  Yes, it was unusual.  For some reason this day was the day the Senegalese were heading home … and they were less than impressed that time was being wasted in a queue.  However, we did meet up with Nicky and Rolf again (who we had met in the visa queue in Rabat) and Julian, Thomas and Michael – Austrians / Germans heading to Mauritania.  It all helped pass the time, having others to chat to.

Without going into the gory details, we queued for 7 hours, finally entering the Moroccan border post at about 5pm.  To add insult to injury, the Moroccans kindly let another 50 cars into the post before closing it.  The rest had to wait until morning.  We finally exited the Mauritanian border post at 8:45pm – tired, sense of humour waning and very ready for bed.  Thank goodness for our new Austrian / German friends – they lead the way to Chez Abba where we reheated some food and collapsed into bed – sleeping through the thumping club music from the establishment next door.

Welcome to Mauritania.

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