Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Lucky me, I get to write the next blog. Lots has been happening lately. We left our hosts in Nouadhibou (they were great) to catch the 12 hour, iron-ore train that comes once a day. It goes back and forth from the mine to right outside of Nouadhibou. We caught it on its way back to the mine so it was empty. It is not meant for passengers, there's only one passenger car in the back that costs $10. Of course knowing us, if there's a way to do it cheaper we'll do it the hard way. We did it the way all the locals do, just hop into one of the dirty, open carts for free. The first thing we did was stocked up on food (bread, tuna and yogurt)and water for the ride. We were surprised when Jake showed up right on time with his new bike. He's good at popping out of nowhere. He's crazy (he has to be to travel with a bunch like us) but then again he does seem to disappear on us once in a while....ahah. I imagined that the train would be a bunch of empty passenger cars with a big sliding door just like in that one Simpsons episode. It wasn't anything like that though just big tub-like carts all lined up that we had to climb in to. I was right up there running with the locals trying to claim a cart for our group and chucking luggage up to someone to put in the cart just like everyone else. Even a few minutes after getting in we were covered in black! Quite the sight considering the train is 2 km long (the longest in the world) and drives right through the sandy desert. It was a long, rough and DIRTY ride but I wouldn't have missed it!! An unforgettable experience. It was really bumpy and I kept smacking my head against the wall when it was rocking so violently! Sky would lean over, trying to inspect the track and wheels and was convinced that our cart was the only one rocking, go figure. It really felt like it was going to jump off the track and tip but it was fun at the same time!
The only thing that really scared me was having to go to the bathroom. You can only avoid it for so long. It was pretty hilarious actually and it might sound disgusting... but I'm always the one to go first as the group guinea pig. So there I was in the corner with my cut open bottle trying to balance and pee while mom and Savannah held up a blanket to give me privacy....even though it was pitch black! It was so hard when it was rocking so much, windy, sandy, dark and everyone was laughing at me! I guess it was better than hanging over the edge, haha. Trying to sleep was impossible when I had Savannah's boney back stabbing me, I thought she was going to saw me in half! Sky was super cute always making sure everyone was tucked in and warm. There was so much sand that my eyes were basically glued shut. I felt like sand paper. Jake and Ammon stayed up talking all night. They love sharing their stories with each other....since they're both full of them, having been to sooo many countries. We arrived in Choum at 2:00 a.m. where we hopped a ride on a Toyota truck to the village. Sky, Jake and I were outside sitting in the bed of the truck on the bags. Arranging prices for transport is always hard. Poor Sky isn't used to fighting over only a few dollars. It was 2 hours to Atar from there, crammed into a van. There were four seats for the seven of us! It sucked, especially for Sky who had Savannah's boney butt on his lap the whole time! Then from Atar it was another 2 hours to Chinguetti. That ride was a little better. Sky, Jake and I were in the back of the pickup sitting on all the bags again. It felt like a rollercoaster we were driving so fast on the bumpy, dirt road through the desert.
Chinguetti was quiet. We took a camel ride and it was fun. It was funny because it was Sky's first time. Poor him and Ammon were complaining about their butts being worn raw. When mom was getting on her camel it started standing up too soon and she fell off right over the back. It was super funny and she just bounced right back up not even phased by it. It was fun taking pictures, jumping around in the sand dunes and eating lunch at a little the Sahara desert no doubt. The hotel guy kept feeding us dates and I'm still craving them! Sky and I are still having fun working out and doing our fighting moves on each other. It's really hard when we don't have much space in our rooms.
We are now in the capital of Mauritania, Nouakchott. We're staying with a really nice family. Savannah and I are having a lot of fun hanging out with the girls. We just got our hair braided by the host's wife. It looks awesome! Tomorrow we're taking a 36 hour bus ride to Bamako, Mali. The hosts here have been so amazing and I'm going to miss them. Hope everything is good at home. I can't believe it's Christmas already...and SNOWING. I was just thinking about how HOT I am right now.
p.s. Uncle Wade is so mean for coming on MSN and talking about cheese cake and candy and how it tastes so good and melts in his mouth. What a bratt, haha somebody please smack him for me!!


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