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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 9 Feb 2009
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Exclamation Mauritania warning

Dear friends,

Apparently there is some suspicious activity running around Ouadane, Atar:
Magharebia.com


I've been in the area last autumn and there was plenty of talking about the attacks at Tourine (E of Zouerat). Many people were mentioning that the Adrar Atar region may be no longer safe...

Stay alert if you're planning to eastward than Chinguetti.

José
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Desert Crocodiles of Mauritania: http://cibio.up.pt/crocodilos/en
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Old 1 Mar 2009
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Hi Jose

We've just return from Chingetti (4WD Toyota, desert virgins).
Very few tourists (90% down after 4 french killed 2 years ago and cancellation of Paris Dakar race).
Much army at Oudane, but we told to protect TOTAL engineers who are
prospecting out there. The engineers (French/Spanish) are very evident and high tech. There is also a new discovery of very good quality gold only 3 meters under, in desert south east of Nouadibou which may garner unsavorary interest.

But i must balance by saying it was the most sublime drive from
Chingetti to Ouadane. For us desert virgins, it was our first sea sands,
our first play in dunes, our second SIS (stuck in sand), and our first loosing our way and the piste in a sandstorm and finding it thanks to the simplest Garmin GPS.

I am much indebted to this site - and Chris Scot and his book in particular for our knowledge and recommended equipment - just wish we had bought a compressor to reflat the tyres!


We are now at Nouakchotte, gettiing Mali Visa and replenishing. Atta expensive for food and fuel. Will be able to give accommodation pointers for Mauritania by the end if useful.

With best wishes

Rachel and Barry
Toyota 4wd
Kalikellett’s Weblog
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Old 1 Mar 2009
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Thanks for the report. Ching and Ouadane are great places.
Oil at just 3m - is that right?

I wonder if anyone has clocked that Skycar out there right now?
Skycar Expedition 2009
Looks like they're still learning to control that thing. but once they're up it must be quite a buzz.

Ch
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Old 1 Mar 2009
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Hi Chris
Sorry was not clear in my email.
The army were in Ouadane to protect TOTAL oil engineers. (i think they are researching near by)
The gold is further south, south east of Nouadibou, and we heard from a southafrican engineer (at one of the 12 official alcohol permitted watering holes in the whole of mauritania we managed to locate by chance), who was
engineering the mine. He said the gold was only 3 meters deep and of excellent quality.

One further pointer to anyone traveling to Mauritania:
you gotta have EURO's.
Extraordinary for us, they do not LIKE or KNOW the Uk pound.
No banks will change. Black market changing in Nouakchotte is tough negotiating and mostly parallel to the rising Euro. Even the
old faithful dollar is not liked. Times a changing.

your book is a god send, and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
I particularly like the stories, of the geology etc.
but you definitely got me out of being totally lost in a sandstorm with your GPS co-ordinates.

Rachel and Barry
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Old 1 Mar 2009
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Oil at just 3m - is that right?

Actually my mistake. I saw saw 'Total' and transformed your clearly spelled out 'gold' in 'oil'. A kind of reverse alchemy.

Glad to hear the book was useful out there.

Ch
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  #6  
Old 2 Mar 2009
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Hi Rachel and Barry,


That's very good news!
Mauritania is indeed fantastic!

I'm leaving to Mauritania next friday, for about 3 months down there.

Cheers and happy travels,
José
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