St Louis

Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
Trip End Aug 31, 2012

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Flag of Senegal  , Saint-Louis,
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I slept so much better last night and I was only vaguely aware of the  the dawn call to prayer. We had an early getaway (8 o’clock). Nouakchott is a big city (est. 1 million). Although we by passed the city centre, it took a while to get through the southern part of the city which was teeming with life even at this early hour.

Nouakchott is a growing city. Forty years ago it was a fishing village until it was decided to put the capital there. Lots of low rise buildings, lots of waste, lots of plastic but twice I actually saw people clearing plastic. This gave me a hopeful feeling.

The landscape south of Nouakchott was so fascinating. It was hilly and lots of dunes were about but for the first time, there were lots of trees and for the first time on this journey, there were acacias.

Such a contrast to north of the city and symbolic of our movement into sub-Saharan Africa.

Signs of racially Moorish people quickly disappeared. At lunch time, we arrived at Rosso Mauritanie. Since the bridge we were heading for had collapsed, we had to cross the Senegal River at Rosso. We waited in the baking heat (35 degrees) for our papers to be processed and for the ferry to return.

I spent a while talking to the people there (Ishmael and David) and enjoyed just whiling away the time. We crossed the river quickly and then we were in Rosso-Senegal.

After a short time at immigration we headed off into Senegal. Suddenly, the land was flat. Suddenly, the land was cultivated. And suddenly, there were mango trees. This had me quite excited!

The road to St. Louis was poor in parts and good in other parts. We trucked on to St. Louis as the sun set. Again, what a lovely sun set! A late arrival meant cooking entirely from the truck stock which was a first but it was nonetheless a fine vegetable carbonara (modesty aside!)

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