Déjà Vu

Trip Start Sep 29, 2010
Trip End Nov 29, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Vague Ocean Bleu

Flag of Morocco  ,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So here we are again. Back in the coastal beach resort town of Essaouira. I'd left here only three days previously to go and get my visa for Mauritania. That mission accomplished, it was nice to hitch a ride and travel south with Roger and Bruno. Bruno left for Marrakech after one night here. Roger and I then moved into the same Riad I'd stayed in last time. Nice Riad though and for only 80Dh for an en suite double bedroom, you can't complain. And the owner seemed delighted to see me again!

So what's the plan? Well, I had hoped to get through Mauritania before Friday next week (of all the days I don't want to be in Mauritania, it's Friday!!). That would have been cutting it fine, even if I had travelled none stop from Rabat after aquiring said visa. Also, Roger wants a few more days first to catch his breath (he only finished work a week ago) before the dash to Senegal. I think we both wanted to do the crossing with company (preferably English-speaking company). So, we've decided to cross together. Our plan of action is thus...

- Spend a couple more days here, doing the odd chore (such as laundary) and stocking up on supplies (such as toothpaste and shampoo)

- Head to Marrakech for a few nights (dj vu part two). It's the best city from which to depart for the south. And it will be nice to go back there after a whistlestop visit there last time.

- From Marrakech, get (on Wednesday) a 26 hour coach down as far south as possible to the town of Dakhla.

- Spend two nights in Dakhla to catch our breath, have some rest, fill our stomachs, make whatever last minute arrangements need to be made and meet travellers coming in the opposite direction so we can gauge what difficulties we should expect. There's a hotel/hostel there which has set itself up as THE transit point for travellers crossing between Senegal and Morocco. The word on the grapevine is that the owner there can organise transport to, through and beyond the border. Hopefully this is true.

- Dash to the border (still 460km from Dakhla) early on Saturday morning. Cross the border and be in the nearby town of Nouadhibou before sunset.

- Leave for the six hour drive to the safe enclave of Nouakchott on Sunday morning. It's a further four hours to the Senegalese border from Nouakchott; to get through that border before it closes for the day and to arrive in our target city of St. Louis (a further 50 miles from the border crossing) before dark is pretty much impossible.

- Leave for the Senegalese border post of Rosso first thing on Monday and hopefully be in St. Louis mid-afternoon.

All in all, we should spend no more than 48 hours in Mauritania. When we arrive in St. Louis, I expect we'll rest for a few days. Apparently it's quite a beautiful old town.

Before all that high-tension stuff, I have four more days to enjoy...
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Mum & Dad on

Good to chat last night. Great blog! Take care this week. xx

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