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A couple of comments on the waypoints on this piste.
Between kms 223 - 228, there is no clear track through the dunes. Upon clearing the dunes at km 228 (N19.22.1 W11.57.3) the track to the next point is particularly difficult to locate. We found a very clear and well used track near this waypoint that heads NE and may eventually skirt the following dunes, but it is not the track heading towards the km 265 waypoint. The actual track is not clear for the several kms after the km 228 waypoint but can be found by heading to the east of the approaching dunes. Unfortumately I didn't get the correct waypoint as I was too busy keeping momentum in the soft sand but the best route through the dunes becomes evident at about 235kms.
The Suzuki Dakar rally wreck at km 265 (N19.06.9 W11.44.0) is a bit misleading as it is actually several kms off the main piste down the bottom of an escarpment, although it does make a good camping spot. The main track skirts this waypoint and follows the ridge of an escarpment about 2km to the west of the point.
There is definately no petrol in Rachid as we discovered when we ran out. Only black market petrol was available in Tidjikja at an extortionate rate. Check this petrol very carefully as some of the jerrycans contained some very dodgy whitish additives which caused us major carb problems.
The Mauritianian tourist authorities have recently published a book in french that gives the points on this piste and the other caravan routes to Tichit and Nema. It may be worth finding a copy if you are doing this route for some interesting references along the way.
Both spots on the route are indeed confusing. The first one you mention is mostly only a problem when heading North-South.
Reading back through our notes: it seems N19.11.379 W11.55.239 should get you back on to the track after leaving the dunes. Anyone using this WP should check on the ground though - our notes are not infalliable!
Managed to get lost twice now off the piste past the dakar wreck...
..the tracks have to divert to skirt the worst of the big dune field before heading on to Rachid -- which is not clearly reflected in Jose Brito's (otherwise very good) waypoints in Sahara Overland. Perhaps to confuse matters further, there are alternative clear tracks (East-ish) beyond the wreck which I was told also head to Rachid, but I can't confirm this.
In the end we got a 'partway' pointer from the IGN sheet - the piste seems to have altered since then, but you can find your way from the old tracks here relatively easily.
Getting lost is all part of the fun, time to slow down and enjoy the desert. : )
Good to hear I wasn't the only one who struggled with navigating around the suzuki wreck!
Bab Sahara still have a copy of that book in their library in Atar, which is where I read it. Otherwise I expect you could find it from the mauritianian tourist authorities (possibly via your closest embassy).
About 10kms past the Suzuki wreck heading south (ie about km 275 on Jose Brito's waypoints) there is also a clear track that heads SW. We initially followed this piste, which was very clear and were told at a local tent that it would take us to Tidjikja the long way without going via the oued Rachid or the town of Rachid. Apparently this piste is about 45kms longer than the oeud Rachid piste (although don't quote me on that as my french and arabic aren't great). Unfortunately we did not have the fuel range to try this, but it might be worth trying if you have the range. I did search for this piste on the IGN 200s but didn't find it.
Richard, about the photos: Is it the same Landy you guys left in my farm when you guys drove in from RIM the very same hour we left the farm to drive our LR down to RIM ? It does look much better in the piste.
And now something completely different: the petrol we got in Tidjikja from the black market (the gas station had none for many days) did not even smell like petrol. We just added some octane booster and additive and our LR did digest well wattever that thing was.
And yes, we also got kind of lost. But as the poet Ken Jakobs say: “get lost and then get lost again.
Just got back from Mauritania and Mali.
I had the opportunity to do R10 again and …. I also got confused around the Suzuki wreck!!!!
Back in 2003 (when the waypoints were collected) and as far as I remember, a track coming from the escarpment to the Suzuki wreck was clear. However, there is now a much clearer track a bit to the west. This track comes from the westernmost tip of the escarpment and goes straight south, leaving the wreck to the east.
Anyway, I collected a few more waypoints around this area:
km232: N19 20.929 E-11 55.379: Contour dunes by left
km237: N19 18.689 E-11 55.655: Inside dune field
km260: N19 8.598 E-11 56.524: Descendent of cliff
km269: N19 4.251 E-11 55.874: Point in piste; turn left
Following this western track there is no need to go to the waypoints km265 and km300.
Also, fuel in Tidjikja was only available in the black market
I did the piste also recently, and, as our GPS died, I had no problems with finding that or other waypoint. All we did, we followed the tracks, what was far from clear. This led us for couple of dead ends - one, after the enscarpement (at around 220 km), what led us to the right, and ended with high balise 5 kms later.
Other was some 50 kms further, again to the right was wrong deviation, we discovered it 30 kms later.
In Rachid we also took the piste suggested by locals, what ran at left from the town, and not inside oued. It was some 40 - 50 kms longer, as Jose's described, but easy to follow, except one sand field, what was fun to drive - very firm surface.
All those deviations led us without fuel 40 kms from Tidjikja, and black market petrol blocked fuel pumps...
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