Borders Mauritania

Day 16: Not as Planned – So much better

Distance: 230km
To get a Senegal visa the procedure is to pay online and then take a confirmation email to the border and deal with everything else there. Despite several unsuccessful attempts to do the online bit overnight I decided to go to the Senegal embassy in Nouakchott and do it there.
Problem 1 was that my satnav did not recognise the address, ok I will ask around. Problem 2 was I went straight to the busiest part of town and everyone and their dog was trying to run me down, beg from me or try to sell me something. I soon realised that red traffic lights mean stop off you feel like it, drive on the wrong side of the road through the junction of you do not feel like stopping.

I have to admit I just wanted to get out of there. I kept going and things calmed down nearer the airport. Ok I remembered my training (thanks mum) when lost ask a policeman. I got a vague direction from him and off I went, after several other stop and asks from locals and police I felt I must be getting closer. On one stop and ask from a policeman, a large grey 4×4 pickup pulled up alongside me. A British voice called out offering directions! ! THANK YOU!! I followed what I thought was the right way but soon realised I was lost again so back to stop and ask. I realised that some people were sending me to Senegal the country, not the embassy. I eventually found the place and was about to go in when the grey 4×4 turned up again. Steve from York offered to put me up for the night and he would be back in 10 minutes.
BTW the embassy said their internet sore was broken and I was to go to Rosso at the border and pay there.
Back to the important bit.. Steve
True to his word Steve came back and has treated me to TWO meals, I have a fantastic room, I am showered, clothes washed, have Internet access and am watching Sky News. Good things happen if you do good things, something I have always quoted to others. I don’t know what good I did to deserve this but I am eternally grateful to Steve.
Just think of the chain of events, all of which had to fit perfectly, for this to have happened. I am not a religious man but somebody was looking after me today (not just Steve).

The plan tomorrow. .. head for the Senegal border and Rosso, described by another traveller as the armpit of Africa.

5 replies on “Day 16: Not as Planned – So much better”

Thankyou Steve if you are now watching John’s progress. I am so glad he found a friendly face how lucky was that? As you say John the power of hope and prayers sent to you by everyone here back home must be working! I expect Steve was glad of a bit of English company too, friendship has always been a two way street!

Morning. Steve’s a good friend of mine and now he sounds like a good friend of you to. Great guy. I saw his pics of you on facebook with a link to this blog. Hope the rest of the trip goes well and I’ll be following it.

Yes John’s mum; it was a rare opportunity that wasn’t to be missed. A whole day speaking English, and about bikes no less! I’ll be following John from now. Good luck

How great that you should find a true good Samaritan, may find you find many more along the way, my wife and I will continue to pray for you.

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