The task for today was to cross the border from Mauretania to Senegal so an early start at 7.30 was taken with the route planned to get Lipstick to Rosso from where a ferry would take the team over the Senegal River into Senegal.
From previous over lander’s report it was known that this is a very busy border crossing and very time consuming.
Again and again the teams faced police stops where passports had to be shown and it was great that both Andre and Willy had enough photocopies of their passports on hand. The alternative would have been to wait till the police would write down all the details before giving the go ahead to proceed.
The writing down procedures could easily make it to the Guinness Book of records for most time consumed per letter written…….
Soon after Nouakchott team Lipstick was sitting comfortably behind a black Nissan pathfinder doing a reasonable 3 digit speed. From time to time the Nissan was overtaken thereafter it followed at Lipsticks speed. This carried on for a good 2 hours.
At a Y junction where the left hand road would have taken Lipstick to Rosso the Nissan went right and stopped some 5om down the road with the driver waving at team Lipstick. The team then decided to chat to him ( The driver introduced himself as Serge Floris who lives in Dakar and he explained that he knows a great shortcut without the need to use a ferry and invited team Lipstick to follow him.
The new road was somehow brand new and nicely tarred and with the Nissan and Lipstick almost alone on the road the two cars cruised at a speed of some 130km. Some 40km later however the tar came to a stop in a little village from where a left hand turn was taken and the 2 cars were back on some sort of a desert road.
After about 30km a police stop checked the 2 cars and Serge gave a lift to one of the police officers whose shift obviously ended. Shortly thereafter another stop occurred with another official selling the entrance ticket to the Djoudj national perk which we needed to drive through.
The road went through sandy areas and very close to the coast – the Atlantic sea shore could be seen from time to time.
Then Lipstick arrived at Barrage which is the border between Mauretania and Senegal. There was only one other car at this most probably little known border crossing.
Team lipstick now had a chance to speak in greater detail with Sergei and it transpired that he already took part 3 times in the Paris – Dakar rally and was also part of the organising committees. He now has a company in Dakar from where he organises smaller alleys through the Sahara desert as well as Eco rallies (for all these green orientated motorists – see www.seylior-race.com)
It was really a great relief to team Lipstick that this was a very uncomplicated crossing and with the help of Sergei who seems to know all the officials the tasks where completed in a very short time.
The same applied at the Senegal side of the border – where we bid farewell to Sergei due to us having to complete the customs procedures for Lipstick whereas Sergei wanted to get down to Dakar as fast as possible.
If one enters Senegal with a foreign registered car one is required to take out a special insurance cover for West Africa. This can be done even at this small
Willy and the Insurance broker at the border control office in Senegal .
Unfortunately the customs official at this underused border post did not know how to handle our Carnet de Passage and instead gave us a “PasséAvant” which is valid for 2 days – we would then have to complete customs with the carnet at the customs office in Dakar at the port.
The same applied for the police clearance who were unable to handle our Visas and requested us to do the Visa application at the airport in St Louis.
Team Lipstick did not bother too much as the time saved by not going through the Rosso crossing was guessed to be a good 4 hours.
A short hour later team Lipstick cleared the visas at St Louis airport without any hassles and proceeded to stay overnight at a guest house called Maison Rose
The six windows on top represent ONE room…..
And the bedroom is huge…….
This small hotel must have been built some 600 years ago and boasts huge rooms. The one unit came with a lounge measuring 6 x 10 m and a bedroom of almost the same size plus a kitchen and 2 bathrooms.
An overview from the hotel’s roof top showing the huge Senegal River
After having settled in -Andre and Willy decided to explore St Louis by horse cart and an intensive trip through this old town rounded of the day
West Africa barmen quickly become friends with team Lipstick.
Below shows Willy’s new invention (before and after) – keep the flies away by lightning up a beer coaster and let it simmer – it works great!!
Thereafter a nice dinner on the shore of the Senegal River concluded day 10 of the schedule