and hotels in Dakhla : there are a lot of cheap guesthouses in
Dakhla, all charge 60 dirham per room allthough there is quite some difference
in quality and size. Hotel Al Ahram is one of the better.
Changing money : you can get Mauritanian money
at some clothes shops next to hotel Sahara at bad rates 1 euro = 250 ougiya
(in Mauritania the rate was 290)
Transport from Dakhla to Mauritania
As the border between Morocco and Mauritania closes at 6pm and also because
it gets dark soon after that (which is makes finding the way in the
horrible stretch right after the border even more difficult), all transport
leaves before noon (most around 9am). There are no buses so if you
don't have your own car, you need a bit of time and try the different
options to get a ride. There is not so much to do in Dakhla.
Update summer 2005 : the road between the border and Nouadhibou is now for 90%
tarmac or graded piste and it is expected that the new road will be
finished by the end of 2005. This could change the transportation situation
completely as from then on coach buses might start traveling between
Morocco and Mauritania.
Travel with hotel Sahara : sometimes jeep drivers
wait in front of Hotel Sahara for passengers, they charge 500 Dh
per person, but if you bargain a bit you could get it down to 400
Dh (as we did). There is a rasta guy which speaks French and English
and helps with the negociations whith the drivers and which asks
an unexpected 50 Dh commission in the end.
Travel with vegetable sellers : a bit
more uncomfortable are theses vans where you probably can find a
place for around 300 Dh (sometimes 200 Dh), allthough their first
price will also be 500 Dh. You find some in the main street, but
most of them seem to gather at the checkpoint on the outskirts of
town in the morning, waiting there for passengers.
Travel with tourists : during the winter
season (nov - march) up to 10 tourist jeeps of overlanders pass by
with a chance for you of occupying their free seats. You can find
them in the main street (of Hotel Sahara) or at camping Moussafir.
When we were there (mid june), the campsite was empty and there were
no tourist jeeps in town.
Travel with Mercedes sellers : we met (at
the Mauritanian consulate in Casablanca and in Senegal) a few French
former truck drivers which were driving over 25 year old mercedesses
via Banc d'Arquin from France to Senegal. They mostly have some places
free. We only were convinced that it was possible when we met the
driver again with his old wreck in Casamance in Senegal.