Mauritania The Bike

Day 73: Wind and Sand and a Goat

After breakfast with Steve in Noukchott I started North through the desert. The wind was fierce from the start and 90 degrees to the road. At least it was a steady constant wind not gusting.

The landscape is definitely shaped by the wind? I saw crescent shaped sand dunes, the type that creep across the landscape over many years.


But most of the riding was along roads like this so not very interesting


So I got bored and took a selfie


Then something happened that I don’t really want to relive in a blog but this a warts and all account. so…

A goat at the right side of the road suddenly panicked and ran into the road in front of me. I braked and swerved left the goat suddenly veered to its left as well. The right hand side of the bike and my right leg hit the goat. I managed to keep upright and stopped. Or at least tried to but could not find the right brake pedal. It was bent 180 degrees backward. I looked back and was convince the goat must be dead. Then it moved its head.

A car coming the other way also stopped. Fortunately it contained an off duty gendarm who took control. I went to sit with the goat for a while. It was awake and aware and seemed to enjoy me scratching its head; but it was obviously not going to survive. I felt sick not just from the state of the goat but because the shock of it suddenly caught up to me. I had to go sit quietly on my own. The goat herder had turned up with a knife and I did not want to watch the next bit.

The gendarm checked my papers and gave me the all clear. I gave the goat herder some money as I felt guilty even though I knew there was nothing I could have done to avoid it.

My brake pedal bent back into position with some brute force but will need welding at some stage because there is a crack in the existing weld.

Nouadhibou, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Mauritania

2 replies on “Day 73: Wind and Sand and a Goat”

It must have been a shock for you to hit the goat but you were not hurt thank goodness and the bike is still operational! The tracker shows a direct route across the sea to your present location, so perhaps the heat is getting to it?

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