Moto-cross Africa  
England to South Africa .  
...and back. . .



On The Road...Bamako

As you will know if you have been on the website before, this journey was aways planned for two of us. The idea was to take the same bikes, to share tools and spares, and obviously for some company and to share the adventure, experience and problems along the way.
Unfortunately, my 'mate' has let me down. I was never given a reason, his excuses just become more inventive and eventually he stopped replying to my phone calls or texts. So I found myself alone in North Africa on a very different trip to the one I had expected or planned for. I decided I would carry on by myself, with the hope of bumping into other overlanders on the way. For the time being my focus is getting to South Africa; after that I will decide if I still want to attempt the return half of the journey up the East and back to the UK.
Anyway, away from my bitterness and back to the adventure... In my last update, I had just bumped into Dan and Ed from the UK, and Nick from the US. We all met up and I decided that I , and whilst Nick was still keen to ride East the next day, I decided I was tempted by continuing South to Senegal and The Gambia with Dan and Ed.
Unfortunately, I can't tell you much about Senegal or The Gambia, as neither of these countries were on my original route plan and therefore their pages in my Africa guidebook had fallen victim to a penknife in an essential weight and volume saving exercise before leaving the UK.
What I can tell you though is that after the dust bowl that is Nouakchott, we headed towards a much greener south, and rode some pistes (offroad track) to D'iama - a comparitavely easy border into Senegal compared to the notorious Rosso crossing. We then made our way to St Louis where we finished the day with a nice cool beer (after dry Mauritania) and a lovely thai chicken meal!
When I crossed from Morocco to Mauritania, the people instantly changed. Literally at the border, the people changed from Arab to Black at the border. Well similarly, whilst crossing from Mauritania to Senegal, the land suddenly changed from desert to what I would describe as savannah. Athough the temperature doesn't seem much different, the humidity here is higher and you tend to sweat 24 hours a day. The scenery is refreshingly green though, as you can see from the photos taken at Zebrabar the day after St Louis.
Zebrabar is a campsite well known as an overland stop. We arrived there after a full day, consisting of about 20km's ride from St Louis and a 4 hour 'rest' at an equally well know overland stop - the police checkpoint on the way out of S.L., where the policeman at the checkpoint thinks of inventive 'fines' to line his pocket. The story being that after being flagged down to stop in the middle of the road, and then being told to move another meter to the side of the road, we all had our knuckles rapped for not indicating when we were stopped. Luckily we used some of this time to fill up on chocolate biscuits, relax under a tree and to remove my rear wheel to fix the tyre creep that had started on my tube. Upon completion of the rear wheel challenge, the policeman decided it was time to give up on us. He gave us our driving licences back, then obviously sat back to await the next Europeans who were in more of a rush than us and would be more willing to hand over the 'fine' for whatever reason he decided would be most appropriate.
The following day was spent camping at Lac Rose (good Blair Witch type footage on my video camera of cockroaches and large yellow and black spiders). Finally we crossed into The Gambia, and I am near Banjul at the moment. We will be here for a few more days as we are awaiting our Nigeria visas from the embassy. We also bumped into some other overland bikers yesterday, who we knew were on the road somewhere ahead of us. So yesterday the six of us had a bit of a late night as we went out in the touristy part of town and for a bit of food and drink.

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