Today we were exploring the capital of Mauritania with our guide Idoumou. It turned out that you can get almost anything you need without leaving the comfort of an air-conditioned car. At every intersection and gas station are people who are willing to offer their services. Whether it's call cards, food or drinks – anything can be arranged by the wave of a hand just like in a fairytale.
Another unique feature of Nouakchott are the vehicles. Most common car is the Mercedes-Benz 190 (W201) from the late eighties. You can find them in any condition from immaculate to dusty rusty buckets. Also Toyotas and Renaults of the same era are at the top of the chart. However the government recently introduced the ban on import of all cars older than 8 years. So the citizens have to extend the life of their transport beyond the reasonable, since most of them can't afford the purchase of a new one.
Nouakchott is built on the coast line but it's still mostly a desert and every now and then you're reminded of that. Some back streets are completely covered in sand, so the city begins to look like an oasis in the middle of the desert.
The final highlight of the day was the arrival of our team member Georgy Golubev. He took the long trip from Moscow via Casablanca and Mauritania visa office. In our next post he will share his first impressions.
Author: Georgy Golubev