Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Our first Sahara Desert oasis

We were told that we would be on the road at 7:30am Tuesday morning with a full day of driving ahead of us to get to the Terjit Oasis. So in preparation for that, we were up at 5:45am and had a quick breakfast with the group between 6:30 and 7:00. 

For our group, we were 18 people... plus our leader Johnny, so we had a minivan and two Toyota Hilux four wheel drives. And three drivers.

(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!)

Nouakchott is a big spread out city of 1 million people, so it took us awhile just to do the 16 kms (10 miles) to get to the outskirts.

In the minivan heading out of town.

Scenery along the way.

Lots of dust, dirt, and sand. And a wide variety of buildings. And a lot of police checks. 



The highway... and another police check.

Unfortunately, you see some people living like this as well.

Sahara sand.

And yet another police check.

Camels at the side of the road.

More camels.

Tents and some nicer buildings.
Very desolate landscape though.

Pee break.
Guys go on one side of the highway, and girls on the other!

Apparently we were soon coming up to a village where we could take a break, but Johnny said we were better off going pee in the desert. The washroom facilities at the break place are apparently not very pleasant.


Scenery along the way.

More camels.

Arrived at the break spot.
Johnny, Ruth, Marissa.

Thomas and Amanda.

Johnny, Ruth, Marissa, Marissa, Aiden.
We have two Marissa's in the group!

Marissa, Aiden, Cathy, Emma.

Make sure nothing falls off the top!

Making bricks.

Junk.

Locals, lined up at the butcher!

We hit the road again.


Scenery along the way.

At the next police check we turned right, still on a paved road, but it soon deteriorated. The minivan could go no further and we all had to get into the back of the 4x4's for the final part of the ride.

No, this is not a luxury trip.
But, it is an adventurous one, which is exactly what we wanted!

Through the village of Terjit.

Palm trees in the desert.
There must be water nearby.

Beautiful landscape.




Arrived at our accommodation for the next two nights.

They had the lunch table ready for us.

Rice.

And camel stew with veggies!

As I said at the beginning, camel stew and couscous is a popular dish. It turns out that rice and camel stew is also a popular dish! But the stew is a little different at each place. And we also had a small plate of dates for dessert.

Glamping?

Ruth, having a nap.

After nap time we went for a walk through the village with some of the others.



Very neat scenery.

Ruth and Anfal talking to some of the local girls.

About ten families live in Terjit full time, but most of the desert oasis' fills up in the summertime. It seems odd, but many families have summer homes at the desert oasis'. There might be as many as 150 people here during summer.

Anfal, taking a selfie with some of the local girls.

Back at the tents, we rejoined the group in time to do the hike to the oasis, and up to view the sunset.

Yep, there is some water!

It's not a lot of water though.

Some water dripping out of the rock wall.

You can rent a tent to stay overnight.

This is the water pool at the oasis.

Terjit Oasis is actually a very small water source. However it is special in that it never dries up. Our guide Alioune said that there was a period at the turn of this century when it didn't rain for six years straight, and the Terjit Oasis just kept pumping out the very small but very consistent amount of water that it always does. In the middle of the desert, where it is otherwise absolutely dry for miles around.

We had to climb up this cliff to get to the upper trail.

Me, climbing up.

Scenery along the way.

That's a very African looking tree.

Terjit Oasis from above.

Rumor has it that the oasis was a hideout for Al Qaeda back in the 1990's. This rumor could easily be true, since there are still active groups in the area, especially at the southern border with Mali.

View looking down on the valley at Terjit.

Hiking above Terjit.



Ronon and Thomas having a Titanic moment.

Waiting for the sunset.

Marissa, enjoying the view.

Sunset at Terjit Oasis.

End of a great day.

Dinner was chicken and rice. It was a nice change from camel stew!

And it was a great day. The next day was even better!

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And in Canada...

10 comments:

  1. That oasis is very cool - especially in the pic captioned "Terjit Oasis from above".

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    Replies
    1. It was beautiful but yesterday we saw one that was even better!

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  2. Are the camels wild and roaming around?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The camels just roam around but we have been told that they do actually belong to people.

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  3. Looks very interesting but this is one trip I would have to pass on.

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    Replies
    1. We think that you wouldn't be alone with that thought, we however are really enjoying the trip. It is definitely one of adventure and not 5-star hotels, not even 2-star hotel type of trip, lol. :-)

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  4. I had a relative from Ottawa working there when things got dicey along the border with Mali. He would have happily stayed if things hadn't gone legs up. We have the wonderful photos he shared up to that point.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm, that is very interesting that your relative would have happily stayed in Mauritania. While we have been enjoying our time here, it is definitely not a country that we would enjoy living in. Overall it is just too hot, dirty and dusty for us, plus for a country that is considered to be quite poor it is very expensive from our point of view.

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  5. Kevin, have you tried some of the suggestions online for fixing blurry Blogger images? Here are a few: https://www.geekinstructor.com/2019/07/fix-blurry-images-blogger.html. I wish I had time to click on every single photo to see the non-blurred images, but there are so many in this post! I follow another blog that is written on this platform, and they are not having this issue, so something must have changed with your account/settings/template. I know this is not the time or place for you to have time to delve into this, but maybe when you get back to civilization, you will be able to investigate. In the meantime, I'm enjoying your adventure!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the suggestions Emily. We haven't changed anything on our platform but we are starting to wonder if it might actually have something to do with the internet here in Mauritania. The only way that we will know for sure is to see if things go back to normal once we return to Morocco. If things don't go back to normal then it will have to be something to do with our blog and we will look into it more closely and try out some of your suggestions.

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