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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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  #1  
Old 20 May 2009
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Nouadhibou-Atar-Nouakchott (please check my particulars...)

Hi there, I'm trying to piece together info on water stops and sandy sections using the Sahara Overland R2 update and a Michelin Map.

Would you mind looking over this? (Distances are obviously approx.)

Nouadhibou-Atar:

Water:-
59km: Bou Lanouar
121km: "Small village by tracks"
230km: Aghoueyyit Salee (water hole marked on Michelin map - saline?)
255km: Inal
300km: Tmeimichat
360km: Ben Amira village
440km: 'Aggui
500km: Azougui
520km: Atar

Sand sections:-
15km-49km: sandy
175-?km: "progressively sandier towards next waypoint"
260km-320km: dunes
Piste through Ben Amir village: "very sandy"
394km-400km: dunes
494km-Azogui village: "sandy area"

What is the condition of the piste on the rest of the route?
I think I am right in saying you can travel along the railway tracks if it gets too sandy; does anyone have any waypoints at which it is good to get onto the tracks?

Atar-Nouakchott:

Water:-
40km: Ain Attaya
180km: Akjoujt
300km: Bou Rjeimat (marked as water hole on Michelin)
310km: Al Asma
436km: Nouakchott
Are there any other settlements along this route?

Road:-
Is this route sealed? If not, what is the condition of the piste?

Many thanks indeed,
PP.
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  #2  
Old 20 May 2009
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Atar to Nouakchott is a good tarmac road. It took me about 6hrs driving with a few security stops.
No idea on fuel as I filled up in Atar and it got me past Nouakchott.
My log says I stopped in Akjoujt for lunch although tbh I can't remember much about it
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  #3  
Old 20 May 2009
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... (water hole marked on Michelin map - saline?)

Preparation is a good thing but I would not expect to rely on a 4m-scale map for the position of possible waterholes in the Sahara. Without wpts, for nav a TPC is the least old paper option, but you dont need either on R2.

You can get on the rails wherever you like assuming you can get up the embankment, it's always close to your left. Most of the time the piste is smoother so only 2WDs or heavy motos might prefer to get on the tracks around the sandy bits which are really car-high sand hills not Erg Chebbi.

On Google Earth toolbar: Layers click > More > T4A. You will see an orientation of the track in purple, closely matching the R2 update direct to Atar and much more besides.

Ch
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Old 21 May 2009
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Hi there, thanks for your replies.
I am not relying on ANYTHING being therem which is why I'm hoping someone can confirm/deny the existence of those settlements.
Hopefully somone who has done this route recently will be able to advise.
I'm planning to travel by human power which is why I am so keen for precise info on water stops.

Quote:
a TPC is the least old paper option
Thanks Ch, what's a "TPC"?

Last edited by panderingpeter; 21 May 2009 at 10:30.
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Old 21 May 2009
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I am planning to travel by human power...

I though so and if you mean a bicycle I would not recommend R2: you will run out of water or exhaust yourself trying to carry enough water. An account of what that feels like is here I believe (read it a long time ago).
And unless you can balance like this guy the rail track will be no respite.

If you've read the Sahara book you will see the cycling contrib had 35° in mid-winter in the Adrar and also nearly flaked out. We had that or more in November on R2. Relying on passing traffic for water is bad form IMO; we saw one car on our transit of R2.

As I recall, from Bou Lanouar until you get to the Choum-Atar piste, apart from Ben Amera, the railside 'villages' add up to just a few hovels made of fallen wagons or sleepers and may be unoccupied.

At least in the Adrar routes are all fairly short (< 150km) and not all sandy. I would say get yourself to Atar (or even Choum on the train from NDB) and enjoy a circuit out to Ching, Oudane, Terjit: better riding in all ways.

A TPC is a grided 1:500k map which has its faults but on which it's easy to mark/record waypoints. Full story here. It looks like TPC J1-B covers all of R2.

Ch
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Old 22 May 2009
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What a wonderful writer Jens Finke is.
Chris, it looks like the Adrar will be a delightful detour beforeheading on to NKT.
I am going to look into R2 further, specifically whether or not Inal and Tmeimichat [marked by Michelin as sitting just north of the railway line] exist. If I can get up-to-date info confirming these smaller settlements from overlanders/tour operators before I leave Nouadhibou, I may attempt it. Otherwise there is the train of course
By the way, are you suggesting that the suface between the rails is unsuitable for cycing on?
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  #7  
Old 22 May 2009
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Hi Peter,

for Inal and Tmeimichat have a look on Google Earth, if the res is good enough. Much of the Mich is outdated or fantasy in the desert.

The piste (R2) always stays south of the rails as I believe there is a risk of mines between the line up to the border. Travellers rarely go north (apart from visits to Ben Amera mountain) and tour operators in Nouadhibou or Atar concentrate on the Adrar. R2 is really an access/rail servicing track.

the suface between the rails is unsuitable for cycing on?

As I recall, yes though this picture makes it look OK, possibly because it was a section just out of Bou Lanouar which cars drive on (as we were) to avoid deep sand. Elsewhere I recall 50mm Ø coarse rocks/gravel.

Ch
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Nouadhibou-Atar-Nouakchott (please check my particulars...)-dg.jpg  

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Old 22 May 2009
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Peter- I have scans for you- pls email me as per pm. so that I can send them to you.
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  #9  
Old 24 May 2009
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Thank you.

I have been informed that the settlement of Tmeimichat exists, or at least it did in 2006.

Inal is refered to by a forum user (from early 2008, I think) and I await comfirmation of this.

I also found these possible waypoints:

Inal: 21,17,360N 14,59,740W
Tmeimichat: 21,14,330N 14,22,585W

Any more recent information much appreciated.
PP.
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  #10  
Old 7 Jul 2009
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If anyone else has details of settlements along this route [Inal and Tmeimichat in particular] I would appreciate any further input.

Also, 'ursula', if you happen to read this; I have sent you a PM as I think you have driven this route and might be able to help.

Thanks again.
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