Eighteenth stop, Nouadhibou: Intense experiences

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When leaving Dakhla we saw the first indication for Dakar – only 1430 kilometres left to our final destination Dakar! The Sahara desert is getting harsher and harsher – the wind is strong and as soon as you stand still and open the door the car is full of sand. And less ofother cars and police controls (a part from speed control in the middle of nowhere). The border Morocco – Mauritania was an interesting place where we met with people going in both directions – among others a French guy who hadn’t had a thought of visas (unlike alot of people in countries in the global south) and now had to go back to Rabat (some 1500 kilometres).  Between the two countries there were some 3 kilometres of no man’s land – a “road” in a terrible condition and some people that seemed to make their living guiding people on how to best pass through it without destroying the car. Eventually we made it all the way to the Mauritanian border and after alot of controls, patience – and some tourist leaflets (!) we came through our second last border and could continue in the desert on the other side. We quickly arrived in Nouadhibou – a town just nearby the sea with an important fishing industry and people from alot of different countries. We started to feel very much closer to our final destination – Wolof spoken all over the place and a street life that reminds of other West African countries. Due to a big political meeting in Nouadhibou these days all the hotels were full. But we finally found some a place to sleep and the owner drove us to what must be one of the best restaurants in town. We had real food for the first time since the couscous on Monday night – and we made alot of interesting meetings and interviews, among others with the Tunisian owner, a Mauritanian regular client with a boubou of 130 euros, a Swedish man who lives in West Africa since 10 years (“Losing all my money in Europe was the best thing that has happened to me” – “I don’t understand how any Westener who comes to Africa can ever feel for going back”), his Ghanean collegue and some Senegalese cookers. We discussed life quality, borders and what make people risk their lives just to go to Europe. All the experiences of the day inspired us all and we started writing a new song together. We came back to the hotel full of impressions and thoughts. Malang even continued discussing with the hotel receptionist. The topic of migration is everywhere in Nouadhibou

P.S You can read more about the Swedish man we met in Nouadhibou here (with his approval): http://www.dn.se/insidan/insidan-hem/aker-jag-hem-hamnar-jag-i-fangelse?rm=print. He actually founded the international book fair in Gothenburg! During and after our stay in Nouadhibou he has been very kind and helpful to us!

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