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Saturday, January 1

Mauritania

Mauritania has scenery in massive proportions, along with proximity to the sea. It is often mentioned by other overlanders for the photographic opportunities. Some pockets of the country have a risk of kidnapping (Al Qaeda) - we will research this in detail and avoid those areas. We need to carry our own drinking water.
Visas: no longer issued at the border with Western Sahara/Morocco, these can be obtained in Rabat. Visas seem to take a while to get.
- Nouadhibou - base for Banc d'Arguin. There is a ship graveyard in the harbour here
- Parc National du Banc d'Arguin - sand dunes, oases, Moorish tents, basaltic plateaus, hot air ballooning, beaches with no tacky resorts, bird watching. The park is one of the most important zones in the world for nesting birds and Palearctic migratory waders, according to UNESCO.
- Nouakchott - fish market, Auberge Menata, relaxed town with not much going on. Apparently it's very expensive, with basic accommodation costing around $30 pppn. It has recently made the news, and not in a good way: http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE71503F20110206 hmmm...
- Azougi - archaeological site: according to the internet, it was "the old Almoravid capital in the 11th and 12th centuries. Fairly little remains. The citadel is still partly standing, as well as the necropolis of Imam Hadrami, a holy warrior from the 11th century." Differing sources on the internet suggest that there is either a) nothing here besides the archaeological site, or b) a tourist town with not many facilities. We shall see!
- Atar - base for exploring the Adrar dunefields, Auberge de la Medina. This it one of the few places on the trip where we can safely explore the Sahara.
- Chinguetti - ancient caravan towns established by the Moors
- Terjit - oasis

Photos from the web...

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