Day 41 : Saturday 2nd Jan - Mauritanian Coast to Nouakchott
A boring drive to the capital in the morning with nothing to see. After a week of seeing nothing but desert and sea, people are getting a bit fed up. Arrived in Nouakchott and met the others at the station. They looked very rough, dirty and thin, apparently they have had only tripe to eat for the last few days. Every time we arrive in a town it seems that it is the dirtiest place we have ever been. This place is definitely the worst ever. Scoured the town for something to eat without much luck, posted 5 letters back home, eventually found a scruffy café and had a greasy omelette with Bobbie, Julia and Charlotte. Waited for the truck for 1 ? half hours before driving south out of town into semi-desert. The sand has now turned a red colour and there are a few trees and vegetation appearing. We had a big evening meeting to discuss the route, timetable, food stores etc.
Day 42 : Sunday 3rd Jan - Senegal Boarder to Dakar
Got to the border early in the morning, had to fill in a few forms while we waited for the ferry across the river Senegal. Drove through Rosso and St.Louis, stopped at another town which had a political demonstration in progress, Andy got told off for taking photos. It soon got dark before we got to Dakar, had trouble finding the campsite, arrived at 9:00. I did truck cleaning before having a long awaited shower. Had a beer from the bar before crashing out in a room with Charlie, Lars and Niels. Slept very well in a bed.
Day 43 : Monday 4th Jan - Dakar
Went into the city early on to try and get visas for various countries. We parked the truck in the centre of town, quite impressed with the city, looks very much like a Paris suburb. Went for a Patisserie then to a bank with Kenny, Marion and Mark. Changed $150 US off Kenny. Found out that there is some problem getting a visa for Mali, took Charlie back to the bank. Walked round the town, had a beef burger, ice-cream and beer. Went into a very posh bar with Bobbie, Lars and Charlotte. Me and Charlie bought some vodka from a supermarché. We all stayed in the camp bar at night drinking the vodka, went to bed quite late.
Day 44: Tuesday 5th Jan - Dakar
Charlie was unwell, but we all had to go back to the Mali embassy for our visas. It took over 2 hours because a real bitch of a woman official was being awkward. Charlie got a taxi back while we all had the rest of the day free. I went a walk round with Mark, I got pick pocketed and twatted the guy. Went to the docks and bought a ticket to the Isle-de-Gorie, met Kenny and Marion on the ferry. Saw the island forts and the old slave house. Had a meal on the sea front, now at the western most point in Africa. The weather is pleasant with the sun out most of the time with a warm sea breeze, got the ferry back and met up with the truck again. Drove back to the camp site and I filled the tank up with water. Got dressed in my one set of best clothes and got ready for a night on the town. Went to a French restaurant for our first full group meal, had steak povoir, it felt very heavy after only eating small quantities over the last month. Patrick decided to take us to some night clubs. The first place turned out to be a brothel but Patrick said that they all are and it's OK, so we just had a laugh with them. Left there after only one beer, then we found a really good club and had a dance with the girls. Went to another club which was a bit more seedy, stayed there till 4:00am, got a taxi back with Metta, it seemed to take ages because we had to walk the last half mile.
Day 45 : Wednesday 6th Jan - Dakar
Remembered it was my turn to do breakfast at 9:30, everyone else was still in bed when I got up to buy some bread, found a local bakery down the road. Got everything done by 10:30 and packed up by 11:00. Drove back into town and parked in the usual place. There is still a problem with the Mali embassy and our visas are still not ready. Went a walk round with Charlotte for an ice-cream and found a small local cafe, had an omelette and coke then we went back to guard the truck. Ian came back with Patrick and said that we could go apply for our visas from the Gabon embassy. He drove the truck very fast to get there in time, and hit a large pot-hole on a bend, we both nearly fell out of the truck. On the way back we went to the garage then moved to a new camp site near the beach and harbour, very good site, stayed up late drinking vodka.