Feeds

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

So get in your car and wait

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.