Changing plans in Sahara

by eagleandserpent

Sometimes one has to change plans with a few minutes notice. Being in Sahara makes it much more interesting.

Earlier during the day I was replied by the helpful Canaries-based travel agency that “yes we do have flights from Nouadhibou to Las Palmas, no problem”. I had already booked a seat in a 4wd towards the border to take off early in the morning to cover the last stretch across the desert. I was already about to change my fistful of dirhams to euros, when I decided to double-check.

Marta told me with a surprised voice that “we don’t have flights between Mauritania and the Canary Islands”. When inquiring the purpose of the email stating the complete opposite, she simply noted: “oh yes, all flights were cancelled later today, sorry”. Oh yeah, thanks for keeping me updated.

Of course, all parties having an economic interest in me reacted angrily. Moors are not that nice people when you’re cancelling something. Two guys (one I never seen before) started shouting and telling complete lies about the availability of foreign currency, flights and other stuff across the border. When they couldn’t persuade me to stick with my original plan, they tried an even more aggressive approach. Only “what are you going to do about it” ended the conversation.

Having burned the bridges, it was time to find means to get out of town, quickly.