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Last night in Western Sahara – next stop Mauritania

by Marc on February 24, 2012



This is it - settle down now

Fidgety. That’s my main memory of that evening in the campsite. I fidgeted a lot. I fussed and fiddled with my gear, my camera and getting the pics downloaded and the journal written. I noted that though the day felt long and had a lot of work in it – We’d only “done a total of 124 miles, we’d arrived at the campsite at 1600 hours and the road had been straight, flat and with a fairly strong wind.”

It told very little of how the day actually felt.

I felt it was a time for tying up loose ends. Of getting things ‘sorted’. Of putting the journey so far ‘behind me’ in my head and clearing it out to leave my mind clear for the next leg.

There was no sense in having distractions / but then without distractions I might think to much, too hard and to no good end.

So – we settled down for the evening in the campsite. A basic, no frills gravel car park with washing facilities and not much else – apart from the low hum and rumble of planes taking off and landing at the airfield on the other side of the road. Most seemed to be military, which did not exactly inspire confidence. Some executive jets on god knows what business. I did not see any traffic you might call commercial.

We had met some Germans that were going through Mauritania on a Rally. They were upbeat and confident – they had the benefit of government support and local ‘fixers’. We told them of our concerns. We chatted about the fact we’d seen many rally vehicles going the other way – away from Mauri –  They said they’d have a word with their organisers and report back to us any issues that we might need to take into account before venturing on toward the border.

They never got back to us…

The chat that evening was a strange mix. Tom went around the group filming head and shoulder interviews. Not everyone wanted to talk. To me it seemed we were all wrestling with our feelings and being ‘sensible’ to contain them. That could be me / not anyone else at all. But it was a strange mix of moods all the same.

In shaa’Allah

By now my head was clear – I was doing this, unless I was physically stopped at the border. The Islamic way of thinking; “In shaa’Allah” (loosely translated; “God willing”) just seemed so appropriate now! Basically – I would go for it – if I was let!

A lot of the chat tonight inevitably revolved around Denis. There’s not much I can say about that. Suffice to say if the old saying about your ears getting hot when someone is talking about you was true – we could have sat around his head that night for heat and light.

We drank the last of the beer – you dont bring alcohol into Mauri – in theory anyhow and certainly not deliberately. We cogitated. Yes – good word that and the last one for now.

We cogitated and then went to bed.

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