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Old 8 Mar 2002
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use of the word "gassi"

I am working my way through Takla Makrane's excellent book "Mauritanie au GPS".

In it they use the word “gassi” in several places to describe a type of track. This word does not exist in the Oxford dictionary. But I have found the following definition on the Dragonlords of Dumnonia fanzine web site “rocky path between two large, sharp-peaked dunes“. This sounds about right as in Gassi Touil (Algeria) the road (which is now tarmac) runs between two lines of dunes.

I’m not sure whether to use “gassi” or “rocky track”. As most GPS units only have 16 characters available in their description field I would prefer to use “gassi”, but that would be a bit pointless if nobody in the UK knows what it means and if it’s not in the dictionary.

So my question is:

How many Brits have heard of the word “gassi” and know what it means?

ps If you're planning a trip to Mauritania, buy the book.

pps If you buy the book, send your cheque by registered post - the first one I sent disappeared.
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Old 8 Mar 2002
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Gassi=arabic for interdune corridor (I believe). Can't infer anything about the surface characteristics, but they are most often OK to drive. Watch out for where the gassi ends and the dunes converge at the limit of the prevailing wind which creates the dune lineations....
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Old 8 Mar 2002
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"Gassi" is also German slang for "walkies" as in `taking the dog for a walk`. Maybe it´s the designated area for taking a dog for a walk, I guess if you don`t have a dog then you shouldn´t be on that piste.
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Old 9 Mar 2002
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Hi Terry
You ask: “My question is…How many Brits have heard of the word “gassi” and know what it means?”
‘GASSI’ ? – No, I haven't heard this word on any of my desert travels - (perhaps I wasn't listening), but if I saw it in print, I would be quick to check it out on the internet.
Oh the joys of our cybernetic age...
Your reader, who charmingly describes himself as:‘Useless Info’, suggests: “if you don’t have a dog, then you shouldn’t be on that piste””.
I like this, here is a clearly stated goal and unobtrusive objectives.
I don’t have a dog, but I will still walk that(gassi)piste…!
All best

Kitmax - Traveller
Desert Pictures at
homepage http://www.kitmax.com
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Old 22 Mar 2002
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Washingting is right as far as I know - a coridor with who knows what surface but usually flat reg and whole lot better thqn the dunes either side. Where qre they when you need them!

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Old 24 Mar 2002
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"Hassi" means well or oasis in Arabic - are you sure it's not a typo or spelling error?
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Old 24 Mar 2002
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To clear all uncertainities:

"GASSE" ( germ. ) = road/way in huge cities between long and high lines of houses , connecting free places or other "GASSEN" Especially in "Austrian-German" its often in use ( Viennas most roads are GASSEN (pl. )).

"GASSI" (arab.) = means the same as GASSE related to the sandy part of the dessert. The surface of a gassi can be sandy as well as stony, wide as well as very narrow.
Also German travelbooks use this term to describe a possible routes to cross large areas of dunes ,f.e. Erg UBARI ..

"GASSI TOUIL" = A very wide ( ~2 - 10 km )plain in N-S direction between Hassi Bel Gebour and Hassi Messaoud in Alg. - strait through the GRAND ERG ORIENTAL.

"HASSI" ( arab. ) = spring , and so the sedlement around this spring gets the term HASSI.....

Hope could help

[This message has been edited by Hannes (edited 24 March 2002).]
Carpe Diem !
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Old 25 Mar 2002
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Thanks Hannes.

For GPS purposes we are currently restricted to 16 characters, so I think that I'll use "dune corridor".
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