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    Day 1.295 – Rockstar Status in the Desert (UK)

    Nouakchott -> PK320
    Distance (km) : 156!
    Time on bike : 7h 09m
    Brutto time: 08.10 – 18.10
    Avg : 21.7 km/h
    Max.speed: 44.0
    Total (km) : 56.467
    Altitude: 35 m
    Difficulty: 4 of 5

    WT Hall of Fame 🙂

    Lidt før solnedgang slår jeg bremserne i efter en meget lang, hård, men opmuntrende dag. Jeg trækker mit gear væk fra vejen, og slår mig ned bag en sandklit – en ca. 2 meter høj sandbakke – mindre end 100m fra asfalten. Med en smuk solnedgang som kulisse, høvler jeg en dåse hvide bønner i tomat med brød i mig, og funderer over, hvordan jeg skal få teltet op at stå. Mit telt kan ikke stå frit, men har brug for en pløk i hver ende, eller i hvert fald en tung sten til at holde teltet udstrakt. Der er masser af sand omkring mig, men ingen sten, så jeg laver en lille fordybning i sandet bag klippen (der giver delvis læ for vinden) og finder mig til rette i min sovepose på liggeunderlaget i det varme sand. Det er uhyre effektiv fricampering. Stjernehimlen imponerer, nuets frihed gør mig lykkelig – og så er det lige meget om man har sand i soveposen og munden føles som om den er blevet sandblæst.

    Således opfattet,

    Achil – hin helt med det rappe fodtrin

    It is time to leave the big city comforts, I’m early on the road, and escaped already around. 10 km outside Nouakchott relatively lively city center of the Sahara gaping silence.

    I’m focused in the saddle today. For once, the wind is not against me, but is fairly neutral. However, I know that this is a temporary pleasure, so I’m all fire and feel like a schoolboy who has been unleashed in toy store and now has exactly 5 minutes to pick up all the toys he can as possible.

    A British overland jeep overtakes me with encouraging horn honking and waving hands out the side windows. A few kilometers up the road the car stops for what I expect will be a roadside chat. I can see a lady/girl get out of the passenger side, but soon after – and just before I reach them – they continue driving north. On the road, they British have very lovely left a large bottle of water, a few candies and a good-luck message to me. It warms my already overheated Sahara heart, and I wish the British people could feel my gratitude.

    Later in the day I feel the wings of hospitality for the second time when a berberdaddy in a Mercedes stops me and asks if I would like a bottle of water. No curious questions, no official hand shakings, just cold water. Merci!

    It is not over with those wings today. A minibus full of (mostly) Spaniards later stops me , the bus empties and all 10-12 people get out for a longer talk. They video film me, photograph, hand me a chocolate bar and two lukewarm cans of beer, while I happily share a few WT-stories in response and (for once) it’s a pleasant conversation. The rockstar status is allover and I love it for a second, knowing that the desert and the next hundreds of miles of sand and wind gives me no love.

    A little before sunset, I pull the brakes after a very long, tough but encouraging day. I drag my gear away from the road, and settle down behind a sand dune – a 2 meter high sand hill – less than 100m from the asphalt. With a beautiful sunset as a backdrop, I wolf down a can of white beans in tomato with bread and wonder how I can pitch the tent. My tent is not a free-standing type but needs a peg at each end, or at least a heavy stone to keep the tent stretched. There is plenty of sand around me, but no rocks, so I make a small den in the sand behind the rock (which provides partial shelter from the wind) and jump right into my sleeping bag on the mattress in the warm sand. It is extremely effective free camping. The starry sky is impressive and the moment of freedom makes me happy – and so who care if there’s sand in the sleeping bag and your mouth feels like it has been sandblasted.

    Thus conceived,

    Achil – the hero with the snappy footsteps

    On this day..

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