Part 7: Return


We quickly cross the border into Mauritania.

We take a long and di
fficult road to get to the beach, but there are some nice waves. Paco makes the most of them.

On the way back we got stuck in the sand several times, and once we hit a stone in a sandpit with the engine oil sump. We managed to get out and then we noticed the damage: the sump wasn't punctured, it was sunk in. We drove on and after 5 minutes the oil warning light came on. We checked and there was oil, so we thought maybe the oil pump had been affected. But we had no choice, we were in the middle of nowhere, we kept going and it didn't take long for the engine to stop. We immediately stopped the car. There's nothing around and we're afraid we've jammed the engine.


We managed to stop the first car that came along, the owner came to look and called a mechanic friend who told us to take the car to his garage in the centre of Nouakchott, 40km from where we were. It's hot, the few cars that pass don't stop and we ask for help for half an hour before a big lorry stops and offers to tow us with an iron cable tied together with simple knots.

The driver drives fast, on a road full of potholes, Paco avoids them at best and plays with the brakes, prepared for the worst, then the driver starts to overtake other trucks...

After 1 hour, he drops us o
ff at the entrance to the city, at the Bamako crossroads, because he is going to Mali.

There's a garage there and they take our car straight away. At first they told us that the problem could be due to too much oil pressure after the crankcase had sunk. But when they took it apart, the oil pump shaft fell out and was broken, as were the bushings.


So we slept on the spot. It took Paco and the mechanic 3 days to find the broken parts and get them made. There are lots of Peugeots in Senegal and Morocco, but not in Mauritania, which was unfortunate for us. The welder comes to fix the pump shaft, we start the truck, the indicator light goes out, we start to put everything away and say goodbye, then the indicator light comes back on. We switch everything o
ff and they start taking everything apart again.


So the weld didn't hold. We waited until the next day for a new welder to come and fix it, but more solidly. This time it held, but for how long? We thank everyone, say goodbye and hope to get through Morocco without any more worries. During these three days, the people have been welcoming, we have exchanged a lot, they have cooked us thiéboudien and we have many memories.

Back on the road. The only thing we're looking forward to is getting back to Morocco, where everything will be easier if the part breaks again. We drive for hours. We reach the Moroccan border, which is usually the longest to cross. Finally we're there! We have good surf all along the Saharan coast and we're back to eating good tajines in the restaurants.

We continue along the coast, still full of waves, and Paco makes the most of it. For me, it's the beginning of a fever, accompanied by headaches and back pain. I told myself it would pass. But after three days the fever got worse and Paco decided to take me to hospital. So we headed back to Agadir, where he had found a good international clinic. When we got there, the first thing they suspected was malaria. After that was ruled out, I had blood tests and several examinations. They didn't know where it was coming from, just that there were several signs of infection in di
fferent parts of my body. I spent a total of four days on a drip before I was able to leave the hospital as the infection subsided.

After all those hours on the road and the last few days, we're more than exhausted. We'll be taking rooms for the next few days to get back on our feet.



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