Nouakchott to Kiffa

Nouakchott Travel Blog

 › entry 18 of 22 › view all entries

Daily Drive 413 miles.

The idea today was to get up early as we knew we had a long drive ahead of us. We would be leaving Mauritania.

Well, we all overslept. I was the first to wake at 9.30. We were all shattered and it didn’t help that Andy was snoring so loud in the night. It was like a heard of elephants charging through the dorm. Also a few of the guys had gone in search of a place called the VIP bar. As Mauritania is a Muslim state and almost alcohol free, they had heard it was possible to buy beer there. I don’t think they were very pleased with the fanta and coke on sale!! Their attempt to smuggle in a bottle of whisky didn’t work either.

They still managed to stay out until gone 5 though. I was the boring one that went home to bed after the meal.

Mustafa had been waiting for us for over an hour to take us to another back street garage. I felt a bit guilty as he has really helped us out so much.

After three attempts we finally found a garage that said they could change our alternator. We then negotiated another rip off price for the work, which would have been worse if it was not for Mustafa.

Three alternators later and no joy.

None of them matched ours. It was hot, dusty and I was getting hungry and fed up. I decided enough was enough and wanted to strip our alternator apart, clean it and see if this would fix it. This then entailed negotiating another price. This was much harder as Mustafa had left us and as they only spoke French. Eventually we got to work and cleaned it. It was full of sand and salt from the previous days drive on the beach. Finally it was fitted back to the car and guess what… It didn’t work! Great, now I was fed up. It was gone midday and we had achieved nothing. There was nothing more we could do and decided to go the rest of the way just using batteries. If we didn’t do too much night driving we would be ok. There would be nowhere else to try and fix the car.

Then mayhem. The chief mechanic wanted paying for a new alternator even though they didn’t provide us with one. I wasn’t happy and had a big argument with the guy. He had a real attitude. We managed to find somebody that spoke a bit of English and smoothed the situation over.

the offending item
I agreed to pay him a nominal fee for his time running around looking for an alternator. He went away then. Everybody wants something!

 It was a little scary for a moment as we were in the middle of nowhere, alone and surrounded by a lot of people. Thankfully it all turned out ok. We gave everyone a pen and finally got on our way.

 

Back to the Auberge Matata and met with Big Hans. The car of Andy and Ross that had been damaged on the beach was beyond repair and they had sold it cheaply to Mustafa. Hans was going to drive them to Bamako. After repacking his car and taking on some of their baggage we finally left for the drive to Nara and into Mali.

Getting the altenator fixed
It was mid afternoon and not a good time to be leaving.

By the time we left It was early afternoon and with such a long drive ahead there was no way we would make it to Kiffa in Daylight. Using lights would drain our batteries more quickly than we would like. In the end it was just a case of drive and see how farw e get.
We were doing really well and the battery was holding charge well until we put lights on then it dropped really quickly. And the place we lost power, Aleg!!. The one place I didn't want to stop or have to camp. Luckily we came across 3 more teams that had stopped to replace a tyre. We put a fresh battery in the car and they let us drive between them in convoy with sidelights on. After a while that battery started to drain so we taped a bicycle red flashing light to the back of our car so the one behind could see us. We  then drove for a further 3 hours like this!! If it wasn't for them we would have been in trouble. I was so happy to see the campsite that night. It was a filthy dump but I was just so happy the drive was over.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
the offending item
the offending item
Getting the altenator fixed
Getting the altenator fixed
our team of mechs.
our team of mechs.
got lost leaving Nouakchott and en…
got lost leaving Nouakchott and e…
lunch
lunch
stripped out car wrecks. We saw fa…
stripped out car wrecks. We saw f…
So many dead animals along the rou…
So many dead animals along the ro…
On the road to Kiffa, at last
On the road to Kiffa, at last
sunset and we had no lights!
sunset and we had no lights!
campsite at kiffa. the following m…
campsite at kiffa. the following …
campsite at kiffa.
campsite at kiffa.
we gave the lady in the backround …
we gave the lady in the backround…
Nouakchott
photo by: eefab