Kiffa - Nara
Kiffa Travel Blog› entry 19 of 22 › view all entries
We left the campsite and drove for about 3 hours on paved roads and our battery went flat. This was just past a military check point and the armed guards came over to see why we had stopped. There was a heavy military presence all along this route because of the murders of the French tourists I mentioned before.
They were really friendly and helpful. They had a mechanic who took over the task of changing the battery. Then from nowhere this junior soldier appeared with a silver tray with a tea pot and gave us all a glass of tea. Totally surreal. Driving through the desert in the middle of nowhere and drinking tea with the Mauritanian Army.
We left them with gifts of pens and went on our way.
When we arrived at the final town in
The road now disappeared as we drove through the town and onto deep sand tracks.
Steve then took over the driving before we lost all daylight. We stopped for the sunset which was great and relaxed for a while watching camels walk past the cars and watch the sun go down.
Now we had to drive in the dark with only one battery left. There was still a long way to go. As we set off into the bush again we followed Hans closely as we only had our side lights on and couldn’t see much. Then Hans lost the track and we were totally lost. We spent at least half an hour literally driving around and round in circles and ended up doubling back on ourselves. If we couldn’t find the track at least we would eventually come to a paved road. That was the theory anyway. We had to get Hans to put his fog lamp on as we were losing him in the dust. This was much better. We then came across four other teams that were lost.
Amazingly after about an hour we drove down a track and into the last checkpoint in
Two of the other teams decided to camp at the checkpoint as they didn’t feel safe driving on. There was only about an hour left and the rest of us opted to drive on. We just wanted to get into
Finally we turned a corner and there was the campsite. What a sight. We made it!
It was now 11pm and everyone was shattered from the drive. Steve pitched his tent and went straight to sleep. I had a walk around the campsite looking for our Hungarian friends in the other pajero. They were not there. I was a bit worried as they had taken two days to drive what we had just done in a day. I didn’t yet know it but my night was not over.
At midnight they arrived in the camp on the end of a tow rope. Now I’m going to get a bit technical.zzzzz. They had suffered what they thought was a cam belt failure and the engine would not start. This can cause major damage to the engine, requiring a rebuild.
Finally I got into my tent and sleep. What a day. Can it get any crazier. What do you think?