Taking the direct route through the Nomansland gives us the advantage of being the First at the Mauretanian side for Passport control and Customs. Half an hour later we're ready to go!
welcome to mauretania
and here are the results of sand riding...
Its about 50 Kilometres to Noadhibou, all of it along the railway tracks for the Worlds heaviest Train bring the Iron ore from Atar to the coast.
Then its about 500km of Nothing to Noakchott, Mauretanias Capitol.
lots of action at noakchott's fish landing
welding machine made in mauretania
at the camel market in kiffa
showing the kids their pics is big fun
you may or may not want to try some dishes in this restaurant...
mauri man in kiffa
We're bushcamping 20 Kilometres South of Ayoun and approaching the border already in the morning, prepared for the worst.
But, again, very easy and fast border procedures! There is only a hint of a question for a 10 Euro "stamp fee" by the Mauretanian Customs Officer but offering him nothing but my loveliest smile and a clear NO, he stamps the carnet anyway.
We arrive early at the very quiet border in Gogui, get the passports stamped and proceed for the Customs to Nioro. It only takes few minutes to stamp our carnet and we're free to go. No one is asking for "presents" or any fees.
As we're crossing the border everything seems to be more easy than in Mauretania. There is petrol in every small town, one can buy vegetables in the market and even beer is freely available.
at the fetish market in bamako
Nioro du Sahel is actually a nice place, a bit noisy and lively but so much better than some of the Mauretanian towns. Lots of colours in the market and also lots of smiling faces.
market women in nioro du sahel
quick chat at the market
From Nioro we're making it to the Capitol, Bamako, where we need to apply for visas. Niger visa is taking 5 days to get and costs 50eu a head. Nigerian visa is 60eu for Darius and a hefty 200eu for Jane (philippino passport)! After a call to the Nigerian Embassy in Niamey we decide to apply for Janes visa over there. Its 100eu for the Nigerian visa for Jane in Niamey. Still bloody expensive but only half the price compared to Bamako!
african menue in Segou
sunset at the Niger river in Segou
the famous mudwalled mosque in Djenne
kids in Djenne
"gods" filling station in Djenne
with "mama africa" at the ferry crossing to Djenne
our trip to Dogon country
Nomads on the way to the market
Mopti's lively harbour
once again on a kidnap highway... this time in eastern Mali, entering the RED ZONE towards Gao
our native cabin in Hombori
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