Feeds

‘In Europe you have watches but in Africa we have time’

So get in your car and wait

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Reg hack John Oates took time out from the Plymouth-Banjul rally — “just like the Paris-Dakar event, but for poorer, more stupid, people” — to file this report from Mauritania.

Looking as friendly as a man in military fatigues in the middle of a minefield can do the Mauritanian immigration official smiled broadly and said: “In Europe you have watches but in Africa we have time – now get back in your car and wait.”

But he was only joking. The first group of this year’s Plymouth-Dakar rally made it safely through the minefields which separate Morocco and Mauritania, and through the layers of red tape involved in bringing an ageing car in little more than two hours.

Thanks to a very helpful man called Momo we made it to Nouabidou in one piece and found Achmed – a 60-year-old man who claimed to be the country’s first official desert guide.

With his help our group of six cars – only one of which is four-wheel drive — made it across the Sahara in three days. This involved a fair amount of pushing and some frankly terrifying driving. Second gear and maximum revs seems to be the answer.

Our little Citroen van, plastered in El Reg vultures, enjoyed the sand and got us through with no big dramas. The driveshaft is clinging on with the help of a handful of plumber’s mastic and the iPod and iTrip still providing music.

New Year’s Eve in Mauritania's capital will hopefully involve some alcohol. After six and a half thousand kilometres we deserve a drink. Tomorrow we head for Senegal and then we are nearly in Gambia and our final destination — Banjul, where the van will be sold and the proceeds given to charity. Last year, the rally participants raised £27,000 for charity.

A very big thank you to all our sponsors who made this possible: all at El Reg, Microsoft UK for picking up the sizeable petrol bill, Classic Car Storage for mechanical genius and tools, and numerous generous individuals. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.