Some time has now passed since my last footsteps in Africa yet the one man travel plan lives on as I try to write up my experiences and hone my travel writing talents with the aim of publishing and funding more odessies of curiosity.

As well as the writing side I am organsing exhibitions of photgraphs and paintings from my trip, partly for their asthetic beauty and partly so I can share and hopefully inform people about some lesser known parts of the world.

And then there is always the next trip... the journey never ends.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mauritania to Senegal

Me in suitable head gear in the hot hot heat of Mauritania
THERE ARE SOME MORE PHOTOS ON HERE AND SOME MORE TO COME WHEN I GET THE CHANCE. The last time it took an hour to write this and upload one photo due to slow connection times twas a nightmare.

I’ve managed some more bumbling ineptitude that has led me unexpectedly to Senegal a country I wasn’t necessarily planning to go to. This is how it happened:

Having arrived in Nouakchott the capital of Mauritania on New Years Eve, which was fairly disappointing, I now had a three-day wait before I could get a Malian visa. This is due to the fact it was new years day followed by Friday and Saturday so the embassy was shut. Now there’s little to do in Nouakchott despite its capital status so I planned a little side trip.

This is where the inept part comes in. I decided to go to Dwialing national park, which is a large area of wetland down by the Senegalese frontier. I some how got it into my head that it was a short two hour ride away and that it would make a nice two day excursion while I waited for my visa.

The reality was a three hour very squashed journey through heat and dust to Rosso the nearby town from which its difficult to arange transport to the park which is a further two hours away on dirt roads. I seem always to blindy go forth misinformed with my own fantsy idea of how things will turn out.

After a long uncomfortable trip through dusty hills covered in sparse acacia trees ( the lanscape is looking more and more like I imagined Africa to look like compleate with round thatched huts great! ) I arrived in Rosso on the Senegalese border where I found it very difficult to get a lift. Luckily I met some peace corps workers who were staying in Rosso and invited me to stay with them.

I was assured by my new American friends that there was little to see in Mauritania, so rather than travel all the way back to the capital and then embark on an even longer journey east to the Mali border, I decided to visit the national park and then hop over to Senegal. The choice was between hours and hours of rough desert travel in alcohol free Mauritania, or a short ride to the fading colonial splendour, of colourful beer serving, bar blessed, Saint Loui in Senegal. The choice wasn't difficult. And so this is how ineptitude led me to a whole new country.

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