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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ouadane to Chinguetti

Imagine my surprise when we set off for Chinguetti by heading straight into the open desert. We were a convoy of about 35 trucks - mostly Toyotas - but once we started, all notions of staying together fell by the wayside. Our driver seemed particularly aggressive, driving as fast as possible and refusing to follow in the tracks of those in front of us. Boy, did we bounce all over! I sat in the middle seat in the back - no seatbelt, no room for my legs, but at least I had people on either side of me to cushion the shocks from side to side.
No roads, no maps, no GPS, no signposts or landmarks - just the (divided) opinions of the guides. . . This is no place to get lost!
Oops, no shovels either. Everybody out to push.
Some hours later, we made it to the oasis of Tenourcherte where the nomadic families cluster around a well.
After a break at the oasis, and at least one episode of backtracking when our route was blocked by the dunes; we finally found our way Chinguetti. We arrived at sunset and were happy to rest our tired bodies.

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