After my ordeal at the Rosdo border post on the way down, I decided to head for another smaller post called Diama to cross into Mauritania. Everyone said it is better, unfortunately it is now closed to all but military personnel so I was turned away. Rosso it is then…
Throughout Africa I have been struck by the amount of rubbish there is lying around. Senegal seems to be the worst although Gambia amd Mali were pretty bad as well.
Mostly it is plastic bags, any perishable waste is either eaten by the local goats or even pigs in some towns, the plastic stays in the environment.
After the trials and tribulations of the last two days I needed a good day to cheer me up. I am having it Ôÿ║
I woke early this morning to the sound of the call to prayer. The mosque was 10m from where I slept. After packing up and doing a bit of reading, the border post opened and the 100 or so cars that had built up overnight started to move off.
After packing and leaving my hotel my plan was to limp the bike 30km across the border into Senegal where I had the correct money plus parts would be easier to get. The chain lasted all the way.
Throughout Africa I have been dodging wild and domestic animals wandering on the road.
Each of these animals has a different character and needs to be approached and passed accordingly.
My first camp in the true African bush went well. I had all my limbs in the morning and I slept soundly. That is after I put earplugs in, before that every rustle of the wind woke me up.
The ride today was pretty much as the rest of Senegal; hot and dusty. There has been a gradual change from salt production and green trees near the coast to charcoal production and more arid conditions inland.
I am lying in my tent acutely aware of every sound around me. The occasional vehicle on the road 50m away, the crickets all around,the donkey braying in the distance, and the something large shuffling through the leaves about 15m away. The something large and me have come to an understanding, I will stop making noises and shining my light in its direction if it comes no closer and gives its life for me if something even larger comes in the night.
The Gambian scouts gave me a fantastic send off this morning and after getting through the capital Banjul, the ferry this time was easy. Even the border was a breeze with only the Senegalese customs insisting on a payment but refusing a receipt.
The road in Senegal from the border was in just as bad condition as it was last week when i went down into Gambia but roads have improved dramatically since i started the long haul East to Cameroon.
I have about one to two days travel to the Mali border and expect to cross on Monday.
Tomorrow: more hot and dusty miles across Senegal.
Ps. This will be posted next time i have wifi.
Two hours ago I was feeling a bit low, it was a horrible day on the bike and i was starting to think i may have to go off road a bit to find somewhere to camp. I am now sat on a game reserve park bench eating pasta, drinking coffee and listening to Lions roar while monkeys run around. Its funny how quickly things can change.
Just letting everyone know all is OK – I will be doing blogs for these days tomorrow – Teasers: – I nearly met the president of Senegal, I slept near some lions and went for a walk with them this morning – as in walking alongside them like you would a dog, I crossed into Gambia, met some Scouts, had my own personal concert from the national Scout band, met the incoming chief commissioner for Gambian Scouts… And there’s more!!!