|The letter that we had to wait all day AND pay for.|
After Essaouira we followed the coast southwards through various stunning clifftop lookouts and quaint wee surf villages.
|A typical bush camp in Western Sahara - nowhere to hide!|
|Scorpions don't make good toilet paper.|
|Lara's Goat Head Stew.|
|Zah (from Jo'burg, SA) gets busy with the goat's head|
|Camp spot down on the beach in Nouakschott|
- Penultimate night in Mauritania.
- 30kms outside Ayoune el Etrasse.
- Just eaten dinner.
- Brushing teeth.
- About to get into tent.
- One of the girls calls out.
- We go to see what’s happening.
- Two big black guys in military uniform with AK47’s (I told our crew not to worry as they had their very own AK) shining torches in our faces.
After the initial panic, we woke up Ian who translated what they were saying: it turns out that after we crossed one checkpoint at about 5.30pm we were expected at the next checkpoint within a couple of hours….but we never showed up (as we’d gone off-road to bush camp). The search party of numerous cop wagons had been out looking for us for hours and they finally found us by seeing our torches from the road. They escorted us to the nearest police station (they sat in the back of the truck with their AK’s on their shoulders!) where we had to spend the night with a random old French guy who’s car had broken down after dark. The next morning we spoke with said Frog who explained to Ian (although I got it from the mad gesticulating that the Frogs and Wops are so famous for) that we were crazy as this was an Al Qaeda hotspot. Only two months ago an Italian had been kidnapped in the same place.
We all found the experience quite sobering, some went as far as saying they were disappointed in the company for taking us there. (Here's what the Foreign Office has to say on the matter.) For me, this is why we signed up. Roll with the punches that adventure throws at you. Besides, I was too busy trying to find the camel spider that had fallen out of Ian’s tent when I was packing it up to care about terrorism and kidnappings. Spider camels are massive. (If you don't believe me, check this photo that made them so infamous.)