All alone in Naukchott

Mauritania Travel Blog

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Done 90 km only another 90 to go

So we made it to Naukchott , Mauretanias capital. This is a dusty place. Only the main streets are tarmaced, the rest is sand and when you try to navigate a roundabout you have to make shure you ride in the middle with all the crazy car drivers as otherwise the sand will make you fall off your bike. Luckily theres only a few roundabouts. Our end of town seemed so quiet with goats roaming in the side streets and children playing everywhere andI felt safe wandrering around town on my own. However the Lonely Planet maps are famously unaccurate and i got hopelessly lost. What had seemed to be a farm like capital now showed its other side: Wide streets cramped with cars going in all directions. Beeping and people shouting. Everywhere people tried to sell something or other especially to me it seemed;  They quickly distracted me from my planned way and as i tried to convince a mute man to leave me alone i realized i had no idea which way to go. The mute man realized too and dragged me along. I thought he might gather were i wanted to go and went with him for a while, trying to make him smile, desperately trying to see the funny side of the situation. But he didnt know where i wanted to go and he didnt smile at all and i couldnt see the funny side either. His pessimism over the situation somewhat paniced me and almost in tears i did what all parents teach their children and went to a trusty looking man in uniform. However he too wasnt the smiley helpfull type and i didnt find my way home until a young man walked me all the way back against payment. No more wandering about in big chaotic places alone....

Sayning all that Naukcott is a fantastic place. It has west africas largest fishmarked -and mosty smelly one i think, Although its supposedly mostly arabe the west african influence is huge. the women wear colourfull dressess and its much more fun than the old arab world...

01maynardjameskeenan says:
Naukchott sounds like an amazing place.. i tried to go through there last year on the way to morocco but there was some visa confusion because i didn't speak french.. maybe next time .... the trip you're on must be an incredible one and i wish you all the best with it :)
Posted on: Jan 06, 2009
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Done 90 km only another 90 to go
Done 90 km only another 90 to go