How i spent a night ON TOP of…the world’s longest train

Ever had something on your mind you really wanted…?

But someone said you shouldn’t do it.

3 years ago I fell head over heels for a particularly odd adventure. 

A fellow traveler planted a seed in my mind to hitchhike the Sahara while…

riding ON TOP of the world’s longest train

It’s located in Mauritania, a west Saharan land textured with a colourful Arabic-bedouin history.

Hour 11 on the Iron-Ore train from Choum to Nouadhibou

Problem was: 

I wasn’t down to hitchhike this country alone, as a 24 year old woman who didn’t have a full grasp of the country.

But… by ‘chance’, I met a fellow nomad in Dakar, Senegal with an explorer’s hunger levelled to mine. (The story of how I met this Canadian nomad is an adventure in itself.. for another time.) 

Zealous for discovery… across the border from Senegal to Mauritania we went.

Hitched rides in the back of pick-up trucks. 

Visited camel farms in the capital (yes those are a real thing & they’re horrifyingly sad).

Long waits with our thumbs pointed out. 

Glorious conversations with generous drivers.

Hitch hiking in “no where” Maruitania

From St Louis, Senegal to Choum, Mauritania. It took us 7 days.

To track down the notorious iron ore train with a few stops.

The train arrived at 9:30pm. It was too beautiful, we were accompanied by a sky full of stars.

So, concealed in our most warm, protective garments, we climbed on top of the iron ore & set up our ‘camp’.

15 hours. 704 kilometers. 2 kilometers of full iron-ore train cars.

That’s how I spent a night,

on the longest train in the world,

adventuring under the Saharan stars.

Sunset waiting for the train in Choum, Mauritania

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