We thought we left Nouakchott the morning of our one year on the road anniversary. But being on the road for a year, depending only on each other and what we feel like doing we have forgot how a calendar works. Or we just don´t really care. Apparently July has 31 days and not 30. Luckily we got Sarah in our lives kindly asking if we didn’t leave Uppsala, Sweden 1 of August and not 31 of July. She was correct, she was there waving goodbye and cheering us on.
On the day of our real one year on the road anniversary we woke up in our tent next to a gendarmerie post. The evening before they stopped us and asked where we would stay the night. They didn’t really like our “we don’t know, maybe in a village or something” reply and told us to follow them four kilometer to where they would set up their post. And that we did (it was actually 8km but who’s counting the kilometers when you’re on a bike loaded with panniers). In the morning we took our time, drinking coffee, taking pictures we couldn’t take when the gendarmerie was still there (since we can’t photograph them or their facilities).
We didn’t manage to bike that far before the sun reached it’s highest point on the sky and we decided to take our lunch break. And with lunch break we mean siesta in the shadow under a tree until the afternoon. We had only be sitting down eating our crackers and nutella for a couple of minutes when a guy turned up from nowhere and invited us to his families summerhouse on the other side of the road. I know we said a thousand times before that one of the best part of this trip is hanging out with locals and this day was no exception.
At arrival we were introduced to the Grimol family, invited to their mbar and treated with some kind of corn milk, which is delicious by the way. Especially after a day of biking in the heat. Then the treats never stopped coming, tea and bread, lunch and second lunch. When the family found out it was our one year on the road anniversary they decided to throw us a party. We were dressed up in traditional Mauritanian clothes and ate delicious food, they played drums, sang and danced the night away. We slept outside under the stars in a mosquito net and donkeys and goats stumbling around our tent in the morning woke us up. As always it´s hard to say goodby to new friends and wouldn’t it be for our visa we probably still would been sitting in the mbar drinking tea.
Even though the dates in the calendar is low priority on this trip we do have to care for the dates when it comes to our visas. “Brave” was the officer at the borders conclusion when he checked the visa in our passports, pointing at the expiry date printed on our visa. We just laughed and said we got the hole day to go, when we crossed from Morocco to Mauritania we did it the day it expired.