Photo of the Day (2/24/07)

Cooking Camel LiverHaving had several types of cooked liver in the past I have come to decide that it is probably the least tasty part of any animal. Yet, seeing this photo of a young man cooking up what must be considered a very yummy snack (camel liver) in Mauritania almost makes me want to try some first-hand. Then again in the end I probably wouldn’t. There is something about liver that tastes the same among all animals. Am I alone on this one? Regardless, we can all thank cfarivar for providing a glimpse of what life and dining in Mauritania is like on a daily basis.

Take a Ride on the World’s Longest Train

Next time you’re in Mauritania, Africa, don’t forget to take a ride on what is probably the world’s longest train, measuring in somewhere around 3km long (1.8 miles), depending on cargo load. The train ride was mentioned on Gadling last summer in a post from Adrienne, but I ran across some more information and even a video (YouTube, what don’t you have?), so I figured an update was due.

For around $5, you can travel from Nouadhibu to Zouerate (about 700km, 434 miles) which takes about 12 hours, according to this site. Apparently they’ve just recently installed passenger cabins on the train, so you don’t have to ride on top anymore. That’s a plus.

If you don’t plan on visiting Mauritania any time soon, but still want to see a world’s longest train, head to Hamburg Germany’s Miniatur Wunderland where the world’s longest model train rests. You should refrain from attempting to ride this one, though.

Check out a video of the Mauritania train passing by (this sucker is LONG!), after the jump:

Lisboa-Dakar Rally 2007

DakarDanger – it is your middle name. You’re the type that likes big vehicles, fast motorcycles and gnarly tricked out cars sliding the thru desert sand in the race of a lifetime across two continents. Are you going to be there? The Lisboa-Dakar Rally kicks off this year on January 6, 2007-January 21, 2007. For the second time in history the race will start off in Portugal and run through Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal.

While trying to catch sight of death-defying feats during my travels hasn’t been high on my personal list of activities I can see how others might enjoy the action and suspense. I’d love to go if only to check out the African backdrop (villages, forests, and Sahara) these crazy men and women will be torpedoing by in their efforts to be victorious.

Train Ride Through Mauritania

Mauritania Train Ride Joanne Lane is a brave woman; snapping shots of Mauritania’s Iron Ore Express as people jump off and on. Getting lost in the scramble of things she gets pushed up on the train by a husband helping his wife board and ends up sharing snacks with the lady and her child. Passengers ride for free on the Iron Ore Express, but they share limited space with iron ore. Moving at 31 mph the train gathers sand as it chugs along making way to the Sahara on the 419 mile single track railway line. She says it’s one of the longest trains in the world and I believe her – 1.5 miles long. The ride is far from luxury, considerably rough and off-the-beaten path for many a traveler. I tried putting myself in her shoes, wandering how I would do in such conditions – in the shuffle.

If Mauritania is on your radar and you don’t mind a little sand it’s worth it to look at her report featured in the latest Go World Travel. Even if the African country is far from your radar I suggest giving it a glance. Just do it and take a virtual ride, man.

Word for the Travel Wise (03/17/06)

SenegalI get pretty darn excited
when I’m able to find information online on some of the world’s lesser known langs or those specific to one of the many
tribes or groups of people in Africa. First reason being, I’ve been known to drill a person for ten new vocabulary
words in their native tongue upon initial meeting and secondly because now we all learn in the comfort and privacy of
our own homes. This gives us plenty of time to perfect any rolling of the ‘R’ or nasal techniques associated with
certain languages without being laughed at too much. (Notice I said "too much.") French is the official
language of west African country Senegal, but there is a second mother tongue used in the area by 80 percent of the
population.

Today’s word is a Wolof word used in
Senegal:

jërejëf

thanks/thank you

According to this Wolof Online
site
, most Wolof speaking people believe their language is quite difficult and even un-teachable to those
passionately wanting to communicate in the lingua. The website also believes if there is a will there is a way which is
why you can find primer courses on Wolof there as well. Wiki has a small list of words on their information guide. You’ll notice
the word used in today’s lesson above there and should be able to make good use of this one during your travels in
Senegal or Gambia and Mauritania where Wolof is also spoken. Scroll further down on the Wiki and the Wolof Online sites
to find additional links and resources to help in your Wolof endeavors.