From Morocco to Mauritania. (Pictures)

he is. Many people have to fight for their survival every day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Opportunities are not for everyone. Sometimes, you have to be lucky that someone lends you a helping hand to take a step in the right direction.

Participating in this Rotary Challenge is the perfect opportunity for men to lend a helping hand to people with the proceeds from Stichting Scholenplan Gambia charity. What could be better than allowing talented girls to study to increase the opportunities in their lives.

On the other hand, driving in 24 days and across 8 countries for more than 7,400 kilometers, first through Europe and then through Africa, is one big adventure. Motivation, experience and letting live are the key words for these Noordwijkerhouters. Click here for more background information.

Our Rob & Rob will keep our fanatics informed with our travel report with photos via Blik Op Noordwijkerhout about their experiences during the long trip to The Gambia and their stay for charity in The Gambia.

Rotary Challenge Travel Report Team “Rob2 for Gambia”.

10-30 to 05-05-2022: From Morocco to Mauritania. (Pictures)

Sunday 30 October:
A relatively short trip of more than 3 hours. The car is still in good condition (Turnhout Garage) and the injuries it sustained are unaffected. We got the message that Henk and Meindert are permanently stranded. There were many doubts regarding the repair of their car.

They brought the car to Tangiers / Tarifa with a repair company. The vehicle will be picked up there by the ANWB. They fly home on their own. very sorry. Spent an afternoon and a nice evening with the Moroccan (husband) family of a Dutch woman. Food, drink and music was a great evening.

Monday October 31

Yesterday the tour passed in the fertile valleys of Ouarzazate. Beautiful scenery. Ouarzazate is also famous for making films. Many movies have been shot here especially in the area. Zagora is the auto workshop of the Paris-Dakar Rally.

I used it a few cars of the group. The campsite was “basic”, but we drank a nice cold beer on our PAAVO sponsor shirt. First cooked on a gas stove, hot sausage and chicken soup.

Tuesday 1 November
Gradually we get to the rhythm and everything is more relaxed. The group gets to know each other better, the conversations become deeper and more personal, but above all the relaxed and informal atmosphere with lots of humor makes everyone feel comfortable in the group. Every day I am happy to enjoy the ride, the beautiful and changing scenery.

Stopping every now and then for a cup of coffee, refueling, eating, healthy stopping, changing drivers, etc. The girls from Zeeland are at the front, the dentists are as a second car and we follow. As an overnight place we ended up at the lovely camp/hotel Borj Biramane. We had a very enjoyable evening with delicious food and good wine and France surprised us with a real harmonica party.

Wednesday 2 November
Yesterday we had a 600 km drive. First towards the coast and then south along the coast. The roads are excellent, and there has been hard work visible in recent years. At our lunch stop we were surprised by the fresh fish, durad guy, delicious. And the price is incredible, including converted drinks 8 euros p.

The road was a bit monotonous for the first time, barren desert, you don’t see any life. Sometimes a camel. A special phenomenon was the sea vapor which we saw hanging in the distance and entered later. It was suddenly 15 degrees cooler (also nice) We were supposed to spend the night at a camping site, but we realized it was a bit “Spartan”. Arrange a great hotel in Icht while you’re driving through Booking.com.

After dinner we went to McDonald’s for McFlurry. Go to bed early for a change and have a good night’s sleep. This morning we left at 7 for a car trip of over 8 hours to Dakhla. It’s foggy, we were almost walking around a couple of camels that “just got out” of the mist and out of the darkness over the highway. It didn’t hurt much but went just fine.

Thursday 3 November

Having barely managed to avoid the camels early yesterday, we traveled further and further south towards Dakhla. Journey through a fairly flat desert landscape along the coast. We currently have two “skinny” patients, very annoying, but “everything is in the game”. We were in Dakhla around 4pm and visited a local hairdresser there to arrange a little “wild”.

Our team of 3 cars works great, the names are a bit messed up. Dentist Sjir and Jos have been renamed Sjors and Sjimmie, We are Paulus (the gnome of the woods) and Wout. Ryan and Evelyn are (Zealand) girls. We are living a great adventure, our childhood dream, also realizing that it was all made possible by our sponsors (I mentioned yesterday) but also by all the wonderful contributions from family, friends, acquaintances and many more.

Thank you very much for that. I would like to emphasize once again that the costs of our pleasures (eating, drinking, sleeping, etc.) are at our own expense. Now it’s five in the morning on the road to Mauritania. 5 hours by car. It will be a long wait at the border.

Friday 4 November
Today 2 weeks on the road, yesterday I had a lesson in patience at the border crossing from Morocco to a piece of no-man’s land and a few kilometers from the border with Mauritania. No single system can be recognized in the workings of these people at the frontier. One electronically scans papers, the other licks his pen again and writes everything down.

Fingerprints and passport photos are taken and…..fill out the forms again. Mutual consultation, be patient, keep smiling and it’s now 38 degrees. An untold mess of dirt and grime everywhere, and toilets that you don’t really want. But if you wait long enough, you’re done. We drive to Mauritania, abandoned car wrecks, trash, lots of plastic, waiting trucks, cars they might reject in our junkyard. What a poverty.

But we are driving again. We arrived at a campground on the beach, “very basic”. Fortunately, there are plenty of open spaces for toilet visits, just look for a sandy mound and you have your own. Set up a tent, he soon finds out that it won’t be for two people. The Waut found a great place to sleep on the grounds of what they call a “restaurant” here.

Just a big seat cushion from the sofa, put the sleeping mat on it and sleep well. I have never had such a large bedroom. The sunrise was very beautiful, and now for the next five days across Mauritania. We are well equipped and looking forward to it.

Saturday 5 November
The day began with a briefing from the guide regarding the route. The choice was through the sand or on the paved road. I win mind passion. The car must remain intact, there are no dangers, so on the paved road. Well…, there were also parts in these roads where there was no sign of a sidewalk. In short, road blocks.

But what a poverty on the road, wind-damaged tents, concrete rubble, car wrecks, crumbling caravans. If you stop for a moment, the kids will come to you like flies on the beach or beg for money, candy, or ballpoint pens. If you don’t provide something, they will get it out of your car by hitting it or throwing stones at it. First aid supplies have been delivered to a medical field hospital.

When you see all this, you really realize that we are in a somewhat advantageous position in the Netherlands. The trip was longer than planned, more than 500 kilometers. Arrived after dark at a camping site right on the beach. We have an extra day off there. I had a joint accident last night, in the dark I walked down a slope.

I tripped on a rock and fell on the stitches of my arm. I bled like a bull. I was worried that the stitches had come off. Fortunately, this was not the case. A little, but you can live with that. It gives a hard scar. He is recovering from a long drive (and falls) today.

Previous travel reports:

25 to 10-29-2022: (3) Traveled through Morocco with a minor accident.

10-25-2022: (2) Ready to cross into Africa. (Pictures)

10/21-2022: (1) Starting 7400 km to The Gambia. (Pictures)

09-22-2022: Rob Cole and Rob Arts participate in the Rotary Challenge as “Rob 2 for Gambia”.

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