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Om 9 uur gaan de hekken van de grens open. Maar dan ben je er natuurlijk nog niet. Politiecontrole, douanecontrole inclusief röntgenscan van de hele bus Na meer dan een uur hebben we alle stempels en zijn we Marokko uit. Dan volgt het meest bizarre stukje van onze reis tot nu toe: 4 kilometer door niemandsland. Er loopt geen verharde weg, alleen een hobbelig karrenspoor. Hier en daar staan wat hutjes van pallets en plastic en overal liggen autowrakken. Dit gebied is onder controle van het bevrijdingsfront Westelijke Sahara: Marokko is de baas in de Westelijke Sahara, maar de oorspronkelijke bewoners willen onafhankelijkheid en worden vertegenwoordigd door dat bevrijdingsfront. Er staat zelfs een soort bunkertje in dit niemandsland, met een omgekeerd autoportier bovenop, waardoorheen de vijand in de gaten kan worden gehouden.

Na 4 km bereiken we een grote poort, daar begint Mauritanië. Dat zijn dus opnieuw veel controles en ook moeten we daar een visum regelen. Dat gaat even fout, want alle stroom valt uit, dus doen ook de computers voor de visa het niet meer. Het aggregaat start niet meer op, volgens de mannen daar ligt het aan de accu, maar ze staan vooral te kijken en komen er niets verder mee. Dat is een kolfje naar de hand van Robert en Ton. Zij duiken meteen in de bus om gereedschap te pakken en binnen een kwartiertje is de zaak gefikst. De accu bleek OK volgens onze multimeter, het probleem zat in de startmotor. Dus dankzij onze techneuten draait de tent hier weer. We vragen nog of ze onze reparatieprijs van de visumprijs willen aftrekken, maar daar gaan de militairen niet op in. Geen gevoel voor humor die gasten!

Uiteindelijk, 4 uur later, zijn we dan beide grenzen voorbij en rijden we Mauritanië in. Heel veel zand, veel kamelen en een erg slechte weg. Het waait hard, de lucht zit vol stof en zand en het zicht is slecht.

Na een paar honderd kilometer krijgen we een probleem met de koppelingsplaten. Ton weet nog met kunst- en vliegwerk de laatste 250 km naar de hoofdstad Nouakchott te rijden, maar daar moet het toch echt worden gerepareerd. Om 18 uur komen we aan op een kampeerplek bij de kust: een vervallen hotel met wat vervallen huisjes, geen andere gasten, wel een paar mensen die de boel bewaken. Dus we staan in ieder geval veilig. ’s Avonds halen Ton en Robert de oude koppelingsplaat eruit, dat is nog wel een klus van een uur of drie. De hele aandrijflijn moet uit elkaar. Morgen proberen we een andere plaat op de kop te tikken.

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