So the big off-road sections started. This was going to be a day where both men and equipment was put to the challenge. The distance is around 500 km in sand and rock. When your average speed drops below 60 km/h you can easily do the math and find the amount of time this takes, even without stops. Today we teamed up with two other cars from Hungary, and a third from Poland asked to join. Started out from camp as soon as there was a little visibility. No major issues for a long time, and we helped a lot of others that did not have very much experience driving in the sand and that had got stuck.
We even found a drive shaft that had fallen off one of the other cars in front of us and that we soon found the owner of. It basically turned their car from a 4×4 into a two wheel drive. That car headed back to camp.
If we hadn’t got enough of sand in the camp the previous day, we got a lot more this day.
The only thing that really seemed to be thriving in this barren environment were the camels that grassed on what was available of plants, grass and bushes.
The route went next to a railroad track used to take iron ore from the city of Zuerat to the port in Nouadhibou. I think the train running these tracks have the world record in being the longest train (2,5 km). The one we saw was nothing near that, but still a nice sight.
Then after some kilometers we ran into some problems that would potentially be disasterous for us;
Trying to keep the speed up, we probably hit a sand dune that hit our auxiliary diesel tank so it started leaking. That was the worst possible scenario, being stuck out in the middle of nowhere without fuel. The situation was so serious, but there is a trick on trying to fix it. Use a piece of soap, and work it to seal the leak. We had almost 120 liters of diesel in this tank and saving it was extremely important. I didn’t last for long and we had to stop again and see if there was something more sustainable solution. One option was to try to get the fuel into spare cans, another was to try with a sealant. It kind of worked although we still dripped but we were now able to carry on.
We even got company with the armed forces again. They drove with the race during the day to make sure we didn’t have any problems.
Not too many pictures from this day, as we had fewer and fewer stops. Not even had time to eat, and had to use what we had availble from the back seat. Towards Atar there is a tar road leading from north to south. As we reached this raod it started to be dark and the wind was picking up. We stopped to reinflate the tiers from driving on sand, and went south.
Still we had almost 150km left of the days stage.
Stopped in Atar to fill up, and bought some bread. The camp was 35 kilometres south of Atar in the desert. Trying to find it in the dark was a nightmare and we used at least 1,5 hours trying to find a path even though it was just 1,5 kilometers away, but we finally made it and arrived at midnight. Made some food and went to bed. What a day!