Route de l'espoir

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Route de l'espoir, or "Road of Hope", was built (by Brazilians) to connect the remote East of the country with the coast and capital Nouakchott.  It is quite a decent road and, although cynics might call it the Route du désespoir, and say it just drains the interior of what little resources remain, it is a godsend for those of us who want to visit said interior without trekking across a thousand miles of desert pistes.

 It probably also helps the economy a bit!  Bizarrely, although the majority of the country has no mobile phone coverage (which generally means no phones at all), you can make calls from within a 20-30 miles radius of the masts which dominate towns along the way.

You need to keep your wits about you as the locals have no concept of road safety and herd sheep, goats, camels and small children across it in front of any passing traffic.

Contrary to what the guide books (and Michelin map) might tell you, fuel (diesel mostly, no unleaded petrol ever) is available and very cheap (by EU standards) although half decent hotels are few and far between.  However, neither facility is more than a day's driving if you stick to the main road.

 

 

       
 

 

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© Jeremy Harrison 2005-2013