Visa successI lingered and loitered around Rabat for several days trying to decide what to do since the visa to Mauritania was not an option. Spent several nights at a cheap hotel without hot water. The electricity went out on my end of the hotel for a couple nights. Moved to another hotel. Still pondering if flying to Senegal was the best choice.

I had finally started pricing out tickets, when I found out via Lonely Planet’s online Thorn Tree forum that another American had succeeded in getting a visa with only one day’s waiting. It seemed wrong to not at least give it a shot, so one morning I dropped off my passport, an application poorly filled out in French, two photocopies of my passport information page, two photos of yours truly, and 340 Dirhams at the Mauritanian embassy. The next I was given my passport back with a shiny new visa just like all the other applicants. Success!

Getting the visa solved one issue, the other issue — the thought of riding across the Sahara by myself — was resolved by a couple of email conversations with Pieter, a Belgian cyclist who’s following the same route. We’ve arranged to meed up in Agadir at some point in the next couple weeks and then head out from there together.

So, Mauritania is back on the table. And after more than a week of down time here in Rabat I’ll be heading out on the road again tomorrow.

Thanks for following along. More to come.