Four wheel drive adventure in the Sahara Desert, Mauritania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Chinguetti, Mauritania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to Morocco on January 31st.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Not exactly the nicest capital city in the world

Among travelers who go to out of the way places, Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania, is well known to be the worst capital city in the world. 

Sandy, dusty, dirty, trashy. With very few attractions. And no alcohol.

(NOTE: There is still some kind of problem with the clarity of the photos on today's post. However if you click on the photo to make it full screen, you get the original quality. Then when you go back to the blog, it is good again. I don't have an explanation of why, but it works!)

But nonetheless, if you are here, you might as well see the things that there are to see.

So at just after 9:00am, we set of to do some group exploring.

First stop was The National Museum of Mauritania...

Our guide Alioune, showing a map of Mauritania.

Fancy sword.

Example of a typical tent of the nomads in the desert.

Differences between the way a woman travels on a camel, and a man.


Lots of broken pottery. Not a very good museum. We were the only ones there, except a couple of school groups with young kids came in as we were leaving.

Our guide Alioune.

Talking with Marissa and Cathy.
Alioune speaks English, French, and Arabic.

They have a lot of little tuk tuks here.

Next stop was the city mosque. As foreigners, we are not allowed inside. So all we could do was walk around the exterior perimeter and take a few photos.





Scenery along the way.

I thought the street opposite the mosque was more interesting than the mosque itself.

Outside the local hospital.

From there, we drove over to the artisanal tourist trinket section. 

Boxes.

Mauritania photos.

Cathy, doing some browsing.

Another artisan stall.

Just a couple of locals.

I took a video at one of the intersections. It was far worse before I took the video, but you get the idea. There are traffic lights, and they work perfectly, but a lot of people don't pay any attention to them. So there is a traffic cop who wanders out to fix things when they get out of control. Notice the one car trying to make his way through the intersection against the light.


Next stop... the beach.

We went to a very basic beach "resort", but it did have some shade structures and a restaurant. 

Chez Nicolas Beach Resort.

The beach itself was actually quite nice with soft white sand and not very much trash. Much cleaner than we expected.

Sultans Beach.

A local walking on the beach.

Ruth, putting her toes in the water.

Temperature was about 30C (86F), but the water was cold!

Ussie with Ambia, David, Muna, and Anfal.

Sultans Beach.

The girls having some fun.

Me, on the beach!

A fishing boat way out at sea.

Some of the group.

Ambia found this pretty pink shell.

Ready for lunch.

Starting yesterday morning, all of our meals are supplied as part of the tour.

I had the fish. Yes, head and all.
I know it looks pretty black, but peeling the skin back was perfectly cooked flesh.
Not many bones either. No idea what type of fish it was.

Ruth had the calamari and shrimp. 
It was also good.

This big moth came and landed on her leg.

Next stop was the fish market. Every day between two and five pm, hundreds of fishing boats come up onto the beach to offload their take of the day. It's all very chaotic with a lot of people around, but it's definitely an interesting thing if you can put up with all the sounds and smells (not all of it good) that is going on.

There are boats strewn all over the beach.







Johnny (our leader) and Mike.




Johnny, Thomas, Aiden, Muna.

Me, with one of the more recently painted boats.



We didn't really go there to see the stalls of fish. It was more interesting just watching everything that was going on with the boats and unloading them and getting them on and off the beach and back in the water. It's a real circus and you can't tell who is part of what team, or how they get compensated for what they do. 

From there, it was back to the hotel for 5:00pm or so, then dinner at 7:00pm. 

And what was for dinner?

Camel stew, and couscous... both very popular local dishes. And it was good!

No idea when you'll hear from us again. We are headed off, 6 or 7 hours driving into the remote Sahara Desert. 

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Big sale on GAP Clothing.

And in Canada...

10 comments:

  1. Amazing trip so far. I see everyone appears to be having a great time. Personally, I like the market place and trinket shops. The Sahara Desert is very interesting. Life in the desert is quite unique. See you when you can.

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    1. So far we are having a great time, we have to say that we are glad to be out of the city, it really isn't a very nice place but we are enjoying the country itself. Definitely different with lots of culture.

      We like markets but not tourist trinket shops, they just aren't for us. It is nice to look at the different crafts and we enjoyed seeing what they had available but it isn't something we need to see each and every day that we are out exploring.

      Life in the desert is very unique which you will see in our upcoming posts!

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  2. Love the beach The museum wouldn’t be all that great because it’s in the desert -

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    1. The beach was definitely a pretty beach and it was lovely to spend the afternoon there relaxing before hitting the road.

      There were several things in the museum that were interesting but other than that it really didn't have lots to offer. The desert can actually be a very interesting thing but I think the museum was sort of boring, at least to us was because it had a lot of broken pottery that we have seen so many times over. What we did find interesting was how the nomadic people lived their lives in the desert which is no easy feat.

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  3. I also like the trinket shops - sometimes it's nice to bring back a memento of your trip.
    Funny to see such a beautiful beach near a big city with hardly any people - I guess they're all at the fish market.

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    1. We have no home to bring the trinkets back too, so we just don't buy them unless it is something that is going to be useful either personally or for the motorhome.

      There is a public beach in the city itself that I think the locals use. This one is outside of the city and I think you have to either pay an entrance fee or buy a meal in order to get into this section of beach. Most of the locals don't have the money for that, so on the weekends they are most likely at the public beach.

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  4. Sandy, dirty, dusty and trashy are much easier to take with alcohol! If I was a camel I'd rather have a man riding me than that big contraption. It's interesting to see a place that most of us will never visit.

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    1. Lol, yes they are but we take it all in stride and expected to see the city like this. Despite all that we had an interesting time see what life is like in the city but we are totally happy to be away from it. We are totally enjoying ourselves out here in the desert.

      I have to agree with you one have a human ride on me, rather that some kind of wooden carrier balanced on me.

      We have a lot more to show you, and you are correct, this is certainly a country that not many people will ever visit in their life time.

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  5. Fascinated with your adventures soooo far off the beaten track!

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    Replies
    1. Glad that you are enjoying our posts! Yes, this is definitely far off the beaten path. :-)

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