Thursday, 5 April 2012

Border crossings

31st Saturday - Dakhla, Morocco
Rising at 6am we were anxious to leave early to ensure successful passsge across the Ma vuritanian border.'

Arriving at the border we processed everything in a record 45 minutes and that was with the help of a local guide who eased the way through all the fees and stamping of documents. We were then faced with a gruelling drive across no-man's land which reminded me of a graveyard where carcasses of animals and cars were strewn everywhere.

At the Mauritanian border we were greeted with stern-looking officials, who nevertheless trested us with courtesy. Even so we did not escape the eager eye whenever they came across an interesting gadget as consideration for a 'petit cadeau' or 'bribe' in English terms.

Using our border guide to the full we made our way to a delightful but yet again simple Auberge in Nouadibou. There was a calming sense of reassurance having the guide with us since we were now in the 'Red' zone of the foreigh office website. Med Moulaye, our guide, found a safe place for us to stay and then rushed us into a local taxi to buy some fredh fish for supper. While cooking this up a nee olayer entered into the scene, a handsome guide by thr name of Dahid. He eould not have looked out of place in Lawrence of Arabia. pouring over maps and sharing intrlligence over safe routes. What I hadn't mentioned wss thr irony I felt visiting an internet cafe, drinking tea with the locals, catching up with emails and discussing the football match on their local TV - in a high risk zone!

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