I passed the tropic of cancer on Friday without much fanfare, having travelled back up the Dakhla peninsula onto mainland Africa proper. The border formalities, both Moroccan and Mauritanian, were free of excitement and I was processed by both systems reasonably quickly.
Travelling through Western Sahara/Southern Morocco and Mauritania has been hot, sweaty, and dusty in that order. But the welcome of glasses of peppermint tea was friendly enough. Safe to say I was nervous about entering Mauritania, given its international reputation, but I feel no worse than on the first couple of days anywhere.
On the way from Nouidibou and Nouackchott (I kid you not with the names) I suffer my first breakdown. After the arrival of a second bus an impromptu towrope is made from netting normally employed in keeping baggage attached to the roof, and we are towed the remaining 200km.
Nouakchott lacks the charm of Nouidibou, and the heat is like being sat on by someone very large and not very good at personal hygiene.