Last night somebody on the HUBB confirmed that the Mauritanian visa was available at the border. I have decided to go for it. If the information is right it saves me three days in Rabat, if the information is wrong I will have three days travel down there plus three days to travel back to Rabat plus another three days to travel down again. 9 days! I have heard from several sources so i think the risk is worth it. All this because of a puncture!
I am doing a big mileage day again but having a break at a service station.
The scenery is definitely on the change at the moment. I am getting a real sense of approaching the Sahara desert. Today started in sea mist, went through sunny and lush farmland and now the farms have given way to scrubland and abandoned walled farms which I assume would have held sheep or goats.
The grass is slowly getting more and more brown as the sand is slowly taking over.
The bit above was written at my lunch stop. What a change when I got back on the road. In the distance i could see the Atlas mountains and as i got closer I could see snow on some peaks. Strange seeing a few minutes earlier it was baking hot, dry and dusty.
I went through a tunnel and coming out the other side was like some Tolkein novel. It was distinctly chilly, rocky and mountains all around. Clouds were rolling down a hill in front of me to a reservoir below. It was a fantastic sight, unfortunately i was on a motorway so stopping to take a picture was out of the question. The rest of the way saw the hills flattening out and a distinctly different way of life. This area had a much poorer feel to it. People travel about on beat up old scooters or walk. I saw 3 buses that had broken down, cars have seen better days. It is also a strong Muslim culture here with all women wearing head scarfs and many covering their faces as well.
I eventually reached my camp site and as it is a good location with good facilities, I will stay 2 nights. Tomorrow I will change the tyres on the bike, it will be good to lose some weight before the desert and the current ones are now looking a bit worn. I will also do some washing and possibly even go for a swim in the sea and do some fishing.