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Justine Cutler

Attack of the zombie flies

Niokola Koba Park We lose the guide the next day. Although we’d paid for two days and this turns into less than 24 hours we are very happy. We will forge ahead solo! Life is much more exciting and scary without a guide, I tell you. We’d planned a few potential routes but the guide […]

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Monkey nirvana

Niokola Koba Park   So why do we put ourselves through this physically and emotionally challenging journey that is better suited for people much hardier than me? Because achieving minor victories over sand and potholes and breakdowns and border crossings is rewarding. Completing these things and surviving, and regaining our spirits to go on another […]

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Saly to Tambakunda Senegal sen-i-gawl, -gahl French Sé·né·gal [sey-ney-gal] . —noun a republic in W Africa: independent member of the French Community; formerly part of French West Africa. 76,084 sq. mi. (197,057 sq. km). Capital: Dakar. — adjectives and verbs Greedy, grasping, grabbing. Money-hungry, conscienceless, corrupt. Take, take, take; want, want, want. Seven signs you […]

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Senegalese ‘hospitality’

St. Louis to Dakar to Saly Coming into Dakar on the new A-1 we are greeted by traffic and the back of water stained concrete buildings. We were looking for the port where we needed to get the carnet stamped for our car. Surprising we found it with little trouble, stopping several times in the […]

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Found: One Zebra Bar

Mauritania to Senegal  When the Mauritania/Senegal border finally opens at 9 the next morning we fork over money to a man called Babayya to do for us what we could have done for ourselves, had we spoken French. As it is, it’s like having a tattoo on our foreheads ‘look, we are completely impotent, take advantage of us’. […]

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Rite of passage

Leaving Nouakchott, south to the border with Senegal, I am sad, saying goodbye to the sand and the camels and the goats. They probably have goats in Senegal, but I’m betting they aren’t as cute, running free, wherever they want. It’s cooler for a while, 27/86, not the intoxicating, suffocating desert heat that trumps even […]

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Nouakchott: Korean game shows and Senegalese bureaucracy

One of the benefits of backtracking was that we came across a nomad and were able to give him a ride (squashed between a bucket and the wedding dress) that probably saved him a day of walking. He looked about 120, possibly even older than me pre-Botox, so for all we know we could have […]

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Break down

We awake to the braying of a donkey. Why there is a donkey here I don’t know, we aren’t near anything. A near sleepless night. In pain and exhausted we are bent double as we go through the machinations of packing up the tent and car. We drive and drive and drive forever, past sand […]

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A bargain: $200 for a piece of rope.

Meanwhile, while I’d been having my out of body fish experience, Rick, Ryan, and Alioune were having a merry old time, drinking tea and taking Polaroids for the women that we could give to their relatives some 30 miles away (3 hours) in Chinguetti. Rick bought a bracelet but to our surprise when we left, […]

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A bucket of fish

With festivities over for now, the next day we headed out of Azougui further into the desert, this time with Alioune and Ryan squeezed into the back. The day passed without event except for a near miss with a charging goat. The goat, bounding across the road ever so much slower than its friends saw […]

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