No, the other kind of mine

The ride up the coast to The Western Sahara was so completely uneventful I was tempted to post about it just so you could share my boredom, but instead (your welcome) I’ll start at the minefield.

The border between Mauritania and occupied Western Sahara has a minefield about a kilometer or two wide.  This isn’t anything strange, as I’ve crossed a number of mined borders.  What makes this one special is the twist they built into it.  Or should I say didn’t build into it.  Markings.  Signs.  A road.  Anything to tell you how not to become one of the various burnt out vehicles that dot the landscape.  A few tracks through the sand lead between the safety of numerous rocky ‘islands’ and that’s it.  I won’t explain how slavishly I followed in the existing tracks, or even how I was probably never even very close to a mine.  I’ll just confirm that the old adage about death and the focusing of ones mind is completely accurate!

As if in reward, when I arrived at the other side of the crossing I was met with the first riders I’d seen since Namibia- some 15,000km earlier.

They were heading south and told me of a another couple of riders behind them that were doing the same.  It seems their better grasp of reality had lead them to start their trip just as the rainy season was ending.  Unlike someone who started his trip north just as it was beginning.

I’m sure my parents attended more than one PTA meeting that would have resulted in knowing nods all around if they’d been able to glimpse the future.


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