Goodbye Mauritania – Hello St Louis – Senegal

If I were to be asked to sum up Mauritania in five words from my experience up to Nouakchott they would have been:

1. Desert
2. City
3. Iron Ore
4. Railway Line
5. Sand

The country is mainly desert. After receiving my Senegalese visa I was able to leave Nouakchott and continue on the N1 toward Senegal. Riding through the poorer area at night was an experience, excited children in BMX rode by the side, showing off their skills.

However, leaving Nouakchott behind, things changed relatively quickly, the wind changed from a tailwind to a killer crosswind.

The roads got narrower.

It stayed cloudy, better for cycling in the day.

And slowly… There were more trees, greenery and people in the countryside.

Stopping in a village Tegend there were lots of excitable children.

Children of Tegend, Mauritania

Children of Tegend, Mauritania


Despite being in villages in the south of Mauritania, with no electric or running water, it’s surprising that most younger people are still in Facebook.

Stopping for a break.

Children of Tegend in village meeting point, Mauritania

Children of Tegend in village meeting point, Mauritania


A freshly slaughtered goat being prepared.
A goat being prepared, nothing's wasted.

A goat being prepared, nothing's wasted.


Walking away from the road you could see magnificent sand dunes.
Picture box sand dunes

Picture box sand dunes

Some big ones and some amazing views
Slight breeze slowly moving the dunes

Slight breeze slowly moving the dunes


Some were taking over the roads and the endless job of reclaiming them from the sand was going on.
Reclaiming the road from the encroaching sand

Reclaiming the road from the encroaching sand


Multitasking, stopping to buy supplies in a shop, cooking lunch with their stove and resting from the sun.

The owner was very generous, freely giving homemade ice lollies, biscuits, nuts and Weetabix!

Free food from the shop owner

Free food from the shop owner


Entering the Diawling National park was magnificent. On entry one guy tried to charge a ‘Park Tax’ but ignoring him and being allowed to continue confirmed it to be a scam. What an ass!
An Ass, 3 or 4?

An Ass, 3 or 4?


To see lots of wild animals and birds was refreshing after the Desert.
A bird making a nest.
Weaver Bird building it's nest in Diawling Park

Weaver Bird building it's nest in Diawling Park

And Warthogs
Warthogs by the Senegal River

Warthogs by the Senegal River


There were two options for crossing into Senegal, Rosso or Diama. Rosso is known for bribes and corruption which was the experience of a guy I was to meet in Senegal. I’d opted for Diama.

The border post to exit Mauritania.

Border post at Diama

Border post at Diama


As soon as you enter Senegal, the roads improve, there are decent signs and lots of colours a big contrast to the desert countries.
Colour.. It's been a while...

Colour.. It's been a while...


St Louis a town 32km from the border on the river.
Senegalese fishing boats in St Louis

Senegalese fishing boats in St Louis

Full of life and bright colours.
Colourful wares for sale by the road

Colourful wares for sale by the road


It used to be the capital of Senegal
Standing room only!

Standing room only!


Coming out of St Louis toward the campsite I was staying at, you go through tidal areas.
Coming out of St Louis, Senegal

Coming out of St Louis, Senegal

Walking without a care, despite being in poverty. St Louis is full of children asking for ‘Cadeau’ or gifts and money.
Street Child

Street Child

My room at Camping 7 Palava, time fof a rest, about £12 a day… With wonderful beach and welcoming hosts.
Camping 7 Palava

Camping 7 Palava

Will have a few days welcome rest before heading toward Dakar and The Gambia.

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