Morocco was more touristic than I thought. There were caravans from Germany and France around every corner. It was a nice country though. We spent our Christmas wandering through the world’s biggest medieval market in Fez. It was great to see that. A lot of different smells, spices and everything you can imagine to buy! We also saw the way how they were colouring leather, the smell was terrible because all the ammoniac. But it was pretty impressing.
We drove from Fez to Rabat to get our Mauritanian visas (took 5 hours, easy and fast, no one on the line!). Then we just drove down the coast towards Mauritania. There were nice places to do some wild camping along the coast.
I assumed to spend around 3 hours on the border between Morocco and Mauritania, but I was so wrong. It took us 6,5 hours. Yep. The most amazing thing is that I was patient almost all the time! After the trip in Africa I will be totally zen all the time, wait and see. :D In Mauritania some big guys were checking our car, I said if they want to do it, they would have to pull the big heavy drawers out themselves, and so they did. I was just chilling out next to the car. We ended up paying 25 euros for a translator on the Mauritanian border to get the car registered. When I asked for a receipt, our translator suddenly stopped speaking any English… Smart huh. During the border process we met an American guy, Bryan. He is traveling on a motorbike. He is currently traveling with us J
There is two ways in Mauritania get to Atar. The paved, easy road, and the unmarked road (which is on the Michelin map). We chose the unmarked road of course. Took us 3 full days to cover 550 km. There was sand, dunes, big rocks, little bushes, wind, but no road. Absolutely nothing. We had gps points so we were able to navigate our way through the dunes. It was though, but beautiful. So quiet. No one around. We celebrated New Year’s Eve there without fireworks and total silence. Our roof rack had some issues already in Europe. After some off road driving it had some more issues. In our second day we had a little sand bump too fast and suddenly everything felt so light. And then a terrible sound, we knew something is not right. And there our roof rack was, flying in front of our car in a weird angle. Scratches everywhere on the roof and hood. Now it looks like a lion attacked our car. Nothing broke down, thank god. And no one got hurt. Now our roof rack is laying in the middle of the Sahara. We got stuck in the sand several times, so did Bryan on the bike. Nice little morning, afternoon, day and evening exercise while we were pushing the car or motorbike! J
Last night we got to this nice camping place in Atar. I had my own personal Sahara in every hole in my body after the off road piste. We had hot shower, fresh bed sheets and 12 hours sleep. I feel like a human again.
So far Africa is nice. Police check-ups are everywhere (26 so far), it’s easier to give your passport info for them on a piece of paper and then they are nice. They always ask something, sunglasses, jackets, anything. All the kids in a city run after you wanting a present. But that how it is here. Adventure is about to continue!