We left Dakhla, Western Sahara, and headed south down the desert highway into Mauritania. By now the continual buffeting from strong winds and penetrating sand was getting to us, and we began to yearn for some greenery.
On the way we met lots of puppies.
The steeds looking resplendent as we left Dakhla.
A brief windy stopoff and some awkward posing for a selfie at the Tropic of Cancer!
Petrol station pups – how many can snuggle in a bucket?
Oh just one more…
Lichen on gemstones yo
We found paradise in Mauritania. Also home of the largest and tastiest grilled fish of the trip so far.
Nothing like (another) sleepy puppy for some good R&R
Diawling National Park, Mauritania. The bumpy track made for slow progress, but with just 40km to the Senegal border where we planned to spend the night and an incredible array of wetland birds, we were happy to dawdle.
Lunch, more puppy love…
The piste to Senegal
Border puppies at Diama…
and just one more to sign off…
Western Sahara, controversially claimed as a bit of Morocco, was not as boring as we had anticipated. The desert was emptily beautiful, plus the strong northerly winds kept us rolling speedily along, although sometimes it just blasted sand in our faces and into our suffering bikes. There were also lots of camels!
Passing lorry drivers and policemen stopped to give us oranges and dates, and our new friends the Taunton couple (from the broken bridge in the last post) passed us multiple times, inviting us aboard for soup and our first beer for a very long time (big thanks and happy travels to Susan and Adrian!).
The scary Atlantic.
We found a hole. We’re not sure what the hole is for as the only sign was in Arabic. It was also surrounded by an official and sturdy looking rope, so this being Morocco we assumed it might actually be quite dangerous and didn’t go in for a scramble around!
We camped on some cliffs overlooking some cool salt flats.
Many of the towns down here have invested in a variety of animal themed sculptures. This roundabout featuring an angry octopus wrestling a fish was one of the best.
Zak’s cutlery woes. After leaving my fork and spoon as part of the trail of my possessions which mark our route, I nabbed this spoon from a hotel kitchen. It is amazingly thin, and got badly crushed when it fell out of my pannier and I accidentally ran it over.
The exceedingly windy approach to Dakhla.
We camped at a kite surfing beach with friendly residents Kai and Ulrike, and a brood of fluffy puppies. This particular little one spent the night in our porch!
And they were keen to get in on breakfast…