January 27, 2004

Place of the Winds

'Place of the Winds' is apparently what Noukachott means. Noukachott has almost a million people, and is the capital of Mauritania. It is quite windy here, but 'Place of the Sand and the Moneychangers', would be more apt.
It is difficult to walk around, because the streets REALLY are filled with sand. I guess they just brush the sand off the roads, and not the pavements.
I've been here a few days, and I spent a couple of nights in a hotel with a TV, yes TV, and ensuite bathroom- yes!! Erm, sorry, getting a bit carried away there.
When I arrived, I was pretty disconcerted by the fact that there was an armed soldier on EVERY street corner. I even got told off a few times for walking in the road, which any sane person would do, because the road is the only bit where you don't have to trudge through sand. Anyway, today they had ALL gone. I guess there must have been some important event I didn't know about.
As you walk around Nouchakott, people constantly ask you if you want to change money. Two Chinese guys even asked me if I wanted to change money. I spoke to them in Chinese, and they were very excited. Today, someone asked me if I was Russian. I replied in the negative, and they looked disappointed.
In theory, this is my last day in Mauritania, and my blog timeline has caught up with my real timeline. Tomorrow, I will try to go to Senegal. No doubt this will involve several hours at a Mauritanian Garage...

Posted by paul at January 27, 2004 09:06 PM