Across the border

Trip Start Jan 01, 2001
Trip End Dec 28, 2010

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Where I stayed
Zebra bar

Flag of Senegal  , Saint-Louis,
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Set off to the border and passed a herd
of wild boar, lots of pink flamingoes and numerous other birds.
We arrived at the customs at 9 a.m.
First stop Mauritanian Police, no problems and not even asked for a
bribe. Second stop the customs wanted 10 Euro to book us out of the
country and even after an hour and half they would not budge so we
offered euro coins. Still no joy and so ended up paying what was
probably a bribe. Third stop was the Gendarme's they stamped our
passports but wanted 10 euro. Once again declined and this time had a
big lecture about how we should respect them. In the end we did not
pay. Next we also had to pay the road tax of 50p. This was OK and we
got the proper receipt for that. We then drove over the dam and had
to pay 8 euro for that as we expected. Next up was the Police and
once again he asked for 10 euro, tried to decline by saying we only
had coins and so he took 5 euro in coins. From here it was customs
again where we should have had our vehicle passport stamped. He would
not do this and issued us a temporary import document for which he
charged the correct rate of 4 euro. I offered a 5 euro note but he
had no change and so I took it back from him and went to the
policeman, who we had already told we did not have any other money,
and asked him to change it for coins which he did. I then took the
coins and gave the customs the 4 euro he wanted even though he was
not happy to take coins. We then drove into the town of Saint Louis
where we got another police check. This one his reputation precedes
him and even though he asked for all sorts of things we were able to
comply completely and so he eventually he told us to go. We then
drove to a campsite called Zebrabar and parked for a couple of
nights. During this period we met the group of Overland travellers that we had already met in Marrakech.
We found that Mauritania is an
exceptionally poor country and very dirty, life for them is very
difficult unless you are one of the lucky ones with a job and a place
to sleep. That said they would still wave and smile as you drove
past. In the town in Senegal it looked nice and clean as we drove
their, we went the best way as some others came through the port area
and their car was stoned and they had people jumping on the roof of
the vehicle to get at things their. Waiting to see them try that with
our Kirsty.
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