Oh my god welcome to Africa

Trip Start Sep 05, 2012
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28
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Trip End Dec 22, 2012


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Flag of Senegal  , Kedougou,
Sunday, October 7, 2012

So far all of "Africa" has been on our terms... and today was one hell of a wake up call!

We left kadougou at 8am and by 9am we were still riding around looking for the fondolimbi border crossing.... (apparently 7km away) When we eventually did it was 10am. Perhaps the lack of any sort of direction should have given us a hint as to what was to come!

We were in good spirits after our luxury night with a few beers by the pool so when we saw the ferry crossing I laughed...now this is what I came for, a little bit of Africa!

As soon as we rode off on the otherside we commented on the poor road but guessed it would get better, I remember thinking there's no hard shoulder, where does one pull over?

By the time we crossed the border which was made up of 4 huts a cow, goat and chicken patrol... Still not quite sure who was actually in charge but it was midday. The road had already been the hardest off road ride I'd ever done and we were knackered. When we asked the gendarmerie if he had seen any "Motos" come through and he said "never"...we presumed today...later on it was clear never meant never ever!

At first we reckoned they were really friendly for border guards, later i realised they must have thought we were insane so just let us go gently!

The was a never ending cycle of rocky inclines, rutted descents and mud that swallowed the bike whole! Oh and the occasional river crossing.

Falling over, again and gain and again.... Was the theme of the day, at first it was all part of the plan but in 35 degree heat and 90%25 humidity it was energy sapping and now just not funny!

A little old man and a young boy became our guardian angels for a few hours, after they would help one of us pick the bikes we would ride on until the next time, or they would walk a short cut and wait for us on a difficult bit to show us the best route, they were just so kind!

We still had no idea how far it was to labe (we'd been told anything from 20km to 200km - the later being closer to the truth). We started making plans to camp as we only had an hour of daylight left and then heavens opened! The most incredible thunder storm!

We pressed on and found the village of baliki. We were soaked from sweat, mud and rain so they took pity on us and let us stay in a hut. We soon realised there were local villagers and and a group of young men also staying the night who turned out to be cigarette smugglers on the way to Mali.

Dinner was a proper African meal, I can only describe as a thick stodgy rice with a "gravy".... So hungry we ate two portions. Haha thought back to when I wouldn't share a spoon let alone tuck into a bowl of food shared by 4.

The road that day was pure hell and by far the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life! A hugepart of this trip was the challenge... And today i found it!
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