Day 34. Sunday 22nd Jan. Nouakchott. Mauritania.

A rest day

We sure need it. No shower for days and loads of washing to be done.

Walled camping area. Perfect.

Last night was the first night mosquito’s have played a part in our travels, or more specifically, sleeping.

It was easy to get to sleep, we were exhausted. The heat is getting more intense of course, as we travel across the Tropic of Cancer and head towards the Equator. Tiny mosquito’s had taken up residence in the Caranex and had migrated into the vehicle. Little blighters seemed to be active in the early morning and time was spent trying to eradicate them. Today we have to set up the mosquito net inside to be free of them as the further south we go, malaria becomes an issue.

At around 3.30am I heard five distinct gunshots nearby, bang bang-bang bang bang. One wonders, with what result!


After Jen had done a huge load of washing and pegged it out to dry in the hot sun, we took a wander to a shopping street nearby. All smaller streets seem to be sand.

The 190E Mercedes Benz, the most popular car in Marocco & Mauritania.

There are some well stocked shops and the larder has been replenished. There was concern about the rate of exchange. For two pain-au-chocolate croissants there was a price of 380 Ouguiya. With an exchange rate of 38 Ouguiya to the Euro, that seems outrageous. Until we were told that the currency had been devalued and you just take the last zero off the price. So they were €1. Still expensive but acceptable.

My only can of WD40 with a swivel nozzle, had somehow discharged itself in the tool space. Bugger. We wandered around looking for a replacement. While not being able to find a full can, we at least know that it is available. The challenge will be to find a shop that sells it.

Update, Adam disappeared an hour ago with a local friend of his from CDC days and has just returned with two cans of QV-40, a Chinese made equivalent of WD40. It smells the same and I’m sure will be an exact copy. Fish oil, developed after 40 attempts, by NASA in the ’50’s….:).

Adam has also told us that there is not one petrol station in Mauritania that will accept credit a credit card but at €1.14/L we will manage.

Late in the day another TD5 Defender with a French couple arrived. We’ll chat in the morning.


After our experience last night, chasing the little blighters half the night we have fitted the net bought in the UK before leaving. Using self adhesive plastic loops stuck to the inside roof and a little of Jen’s creativity, we now have a net cocoon to sleep in.

Tomorrow we go exploring.

Visits: 118


  1. Hi both. Watching your trip with interest. Can’t say the gunfire is something I would like to hear, but I expect you were prepared for some incidents on your travels. We didn’t think your pastries were expensive. We pay 1€ for a croissant and 1€ 10 for a pain au chocolat. Stay safe.

  2. I find that spraying some insect repellant on the pillow will discourage the mosquitoes from buzzing around my head but that won’t stop them taking blood elsewhere. A friend who was brought up in Zimbabwe told me that chewing two cloves of raw garlic per day would repel the insects (and people unless they had also chewed raw garlic!

    Is the tumbu fly a potential hazard in west Africa?

    • Hi John, goot tip about spraying the pillow. Not sure about the second one though, in case Jen decides it’s worth trying…:) Will get back to you re Tumbu Fly after discussion with Adam

  3. Back with you after the funeral. Your experiences are interesting to say the least. Not quite sure why you want to put yourselves through such discomfort at this stage of life, but guess some people march to the beat of a different drum. Hope you can all keep in step in the months ahead.

  4. Is that one of the Gentlemen of Africa, reclining in full sartorial splendour as an advertisement for the establishment?
    Thanks for the updates – am vicariously enjoying the journey.

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