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11th Oct 12′ Hooray! We have our Mauritanian Visas. Rabat – Al Jadida, Morocco

October 12, 2012

148 miles.

Yesterday, after returning from the embassy hot, dirty and sticky we opted for a bath in the hotel swimming pool next door un be know to the owners. It was our only choice. After all, if the kitchen below looks like this then you can imagine what the bathroom looked like. There was hardly any water pressure, no hot water, no drainage and I suspected the showers were being used as urinals because of the condition of the toilets, though it all adds to the adventure and overall the campsite wasn’t that bad compared to others.

The embassy only opened at 1500 so in the morning we took advantage of the free time and slowly dried and packed up our equipment.

Luckily we missed the chaotic morning queue as this is for applicants only so we just had to collect in the afternoon time slot at 1500. It seems to be the same faces every day and I begin to wonder if these people just turn up and queue for the fun of it. We got along really well with everyone in the end. In fact, they seemed to put Dai and I in charge of “the system” and if anybody was found pushing in they were reported to us and sent to join the back. We seemed to earn lots of respect that way especially from the ladies as they were aloud to join the front ahead of the men. The only problem was the ladies were then being approached by the men and being asked to take in their applications for them. We soon got wise and put a stop to that and advised one person one passport only to be excepted. From my explanation above you can probably tell that all I have done for the last three days is try and obtain this visa and Im really pleased to announce we finally have them. I was so relieved riding down the road I almost cried.

As soon as we received our visas we set off en route to anywhere South we could before sun down to try and redeem the lost miles. We followed the West Coast of Morocco around a very busy Cassablance at rush hour where the air was thick with exhaust fumes and maniac drivers. We arrived in Al Jadida and located an Ibis Hotel over looking the sea.

Only a week on the road and the travelling seems to be already taking its toll on us. I have a dodgy tummy which makes it uncomfortable to ride and Dai more concerning, is sweating during the night, has a temperature and looks a tad pale. After showering he wondered where his tan had gone and I had to explain to him it was actually dirt from not washing, not his tan and it really was. We are both full of Mosquito bites from camping next to the river for the last three days and Im wondering if we may be coming down with something.

During the next few days we hope to hit the Western Sahara and Mauritania. Our next supposed rest day will be in Bamako, Mali where I have to apply for my Nigerian visa whicn was rejected back in the UK for not having an ait ticket. Im hoping to make up the lost miles over the next few days and will be travelling everyday unless the bugs worsen.