12.12.2015 Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso

Bobo-Dioulasso. Andrej went to micro-safari with one of the guests who rented his slovenian army truck for this purpose. I packed up, said goodbye to Shpela and dogs and went back on the road in the direction of Ouagadougou. A stretch of road of 360 kilometers is nothing special except for the incredible amount of speed bumps. And it was definitely not the main thing.

A couple of days before Andrew introduced me to Moussa. At first I was confused when absolutely burkinabe local elder man starts to speak with me in Russian. The noble-looking, with a sharp twinkle in his eyes, obviously young at heart, regardless of age. During Soviet times Musa studied in Chisinau, and then lived in Baku and Odessa. Truly – almost a character of bearded anecdotes. Musa was engaged in the development of the agricultural sector (which he studied in the Soviet Union), and he lived in Ouagadougou, and immediately invited me to stay with him. I was not going to visit the capital of Burkina, but it was hard to refuse such an offer. Looking ahead to say that speaking in Russian with the indigenous African is still continually tearing all the possible patterns in my head. Moussa recalled the Soviet times of his life with warmth and nostalgia, telling a lot of stories from his student days, and life in Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Behind his words was felt of true spirit of Peoples’ Friendship. Everybody for everybody. Without malice and hatred. This had me a very strong impression.

Exactly on the eve of my arrival in the capital, the country held elections. The first elections for the past 27 years, when the country was ruled by a president who altered the Constitution for himself. Suffice it to recall Thomas Sankara, the African Che Guevara. In view of this circumstances the situation could spiral out of control, but surprisingly everything went peacefully and calmly, with the presence of international observers, without provocation and so on. Population reacted responsibly to elections, and that is why in Ouagadougou I was first greeted by a friend of Moussa – Ane, because Moussa went to his hometown to take part in the vote there. Ane studied in Chisinau too, as a construction engineering and, of course, also spoke Russian.

We went to visit Ane’s house but before we stopped in one small neat restaurant. “The first debt of every burkinabe is to feed and give water” Muossa’s wife said, “Here, we share a meal with everyone. If there are people in need around – we share”. Later I occasionally met children begging for food, but I think it’s their way of earning while their parents are at work. Africa … Ane ordered, in my opinion, the best chicken I’ve tried for the whole journey. Before that, in Bobo, in one of the bars me, Evgen and Andrej managed to order a chicken which is preparing “here and now”. “Poule biciklet” – a chicken-bike as it is called here. No meat just bones :) Here, chicken turned out to be meaty, juicy and cooked as it should in a beautiful sauce and vegetables. And beer, local Brakina that brought peace to my body after a road.

After a brief visit to the house of Ane, we went to the house of Moussa who was still on his way back. I was provided with the bed in the room of his son. Bed! For the first time in the last two months I remembered what it is! Oh, how I slept. Royally! I sprawled across as a star and dozed till next noon.

The next day Moussa went back from work and we got to the city to drink beer and have a chat. Around the same time I got a call from Andrej from Bobo and he said that Moussa had recently bought a new house, and it is necessary to deploy the power supply system by solar panels. Andrew needed a companion, and that is me. Job! A total of three days and a small cash but still. Moussa smiled conspiratorially and nodded his head. Yet in Bobo he promised me a job and kept his word. I was full of enthusiasm.

The next day I got a message from a traveler from Belgium named Toon, who arrived in Ouagadougou. He know about me from one of the guests of Andrej in Bobo. We got into the city, and I learned that the joint West African visa (including the Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin) are still exists, and more than that – relatively cheap (25 000 CFA). It was on my hand, given the fact that I did not have a visa for Benin, and Togolese visa should have ended after a few of days. Now, instead, I can get united visa which greatly simplifies my way to Nigeria. We also went to the local market with Toon, where I learned that you can sell at a profit even ten-years old button mobile phone from Europe. And after all I realized that the bearing in the rear wheel of my bike finally died after 60 000 kilometers . Very bad news.

In the following days I worked with Andrej on deployment of solar panels in the new house of Moussa. The mood was fighting and I was riding on the roof with joy and tinkered with electronics in the house.

Preparing panels:


Checking inverter and controller:



My job, from the top:


And below:


After work we were rescuing ourselves from the scorching sun in a street diner with three dusty chairs and ice-cold beer, and chatted. About the world, about people, about transport and travel. Andrej began to travel since 17 years old and managed to get on all continents and take participation in many avantures, like “human shields” in Baghdad during the bombing of Iraq. His stories were filled with humor and often based on the principle of “we’ll go there and we will see on the spot”. Amazing guy.

Along the way, I tried to find the appropriate bearing, but even with the assistance of a local mechanic, friend of Andrej, and visiting all the possible habitats of bearings searches were not successful. It seems not very rare size, but…

During searches I did a couple of shots of the city.


Everything is good with that man, just an afternoon nap:


And then I received a letter from the PM-Garage. These are great guys who are engaged in equipping or re-equipping suspension of motorcycles in Moscow. Many riders who are engaged in motorsport, drive on the track or doing enduro rides, constantly use the services of this company. They can do almost everything. PM-Garage offered me a revised and adjusted set of shock absorbers on my bike (!!!!), and asked if I have any problems (!!!!!). I complained to the bearing, and they offered to send it too! That’s really true, you never know where you find and where you lose. Such matches and coincidences are sometimes even frightening a little. However, happy ending has not happened yet, as the cornerstone of a question is about the delivery. Russian Post does not agree to send parcels to Africa, EMS too. So much for the ” we sending parcels all over the world”. And DHL or DPD asking crazy price for delivery. So, the question is still open …

On the last day of Andrej staying in Ouagadougou, Moussa invited us for a meeting of friends. We had no idea what is the event but for Saturday night it sounded good. And how big was my surprise when we arrived. I do not know as it is officially called. A Club. Maybe. In Burkina Faso, there is a club whose members are somehow related to the Soviet Union, and now Russia. Burkinabe people who studied in the Soviet Union. Honorary consuls of Russia. Russians living and working here, and their wives. And everything they say was in my language! And kitchen, russian kitchen! Borscht, cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes with meatballs, oliviers, jellymeat, herring under a fur coat (last I can not eat because of allergia, but still!) And much more! These dishes are common for everyone who lives in Russia but for me it was just some kind of paradise. Food to which I was so accustomed, and which I missed so much. Enhanced by variety of drinks, among which I would prefer our cognac, it has caused an unprecedented euphoria in me. And all this is surrounded by mature held wise men who understand, speak my language, though they are different and interesting. In our land there is not even the embassy of this country and here are a club where people remembering their time when they studied and lived with us. At such moments, you realize that the Peoples’ Friendship has no boundaries at all…

..So in my mind I have to draw the equation with a bunch of unknowns. There are means to go further, but detail is needed to somehow teleported here. The original bearing that BMW may bring here a few days is an unrealistic amount (480 euros against a good analogue for $60). Moussa insisted that we celebrated New Year together. Visa to Nigeria left me only few days if I will stay. And most importantly – a great desire to greet the new year with my one and only beloved, but a complete absence of the possibility to implement it. Plane tickets worth quite cosmic money… Is there a miracles for the New Year?

30.10.2015 Bamako, Mali


The border between Senegal and Mali was not quite clear. Long queues of trucks on a narrow strip of the road and spontaneous market on the edges. No pointers to customs but there are pointers to the nightclub. Not a bad start.

We are gradually squeezed between trucks until stopped at a barrier. Yeah, it has to be here somewhere. Guards sitting at the barrier showed us to park near them and go to the building nearby to submit passports. We went to the small window in the wall, unleashing the most serene look and trying to show by our appearance that we have a tons of time in stock. After we handed over our passports we found chairs nearby and collapsed on them. Local old man was sitting nearby and he was preparing tea. He shared it with us. The tart, sweet, that’s what you need in the morning. Mark did not stop to enjoy the fact that the local children and other beggars does not stick to him. I convinced him that we should not rush into assessments. Five minutes later customs officer came to us with our passports. He came out and brought it to us by himself! Even I began to think about the differences between the two neighboring countries. We returned to our steel horses, and were called by one of the customs officers. He looked menacing. “Here we go” we said to each other, waiting for difficulties. But he grinned and shook hands to each of us and said that he was honored to see travelers in his country. Well, Mali pleases us from the first minute, it’s damn nice.

Leaving the border village Mark and I stopped and said goodbye. My journey to Bamako, capital of Mali, will take one to two days. For him it will take six days. In any case, I planned to hang in Mali for a couple of weeks, so we had no doubt that we will meet once again. Unscrewing the throttle I rolled over quite a good road and almost immediately stumbled upon a tollroad post. Back in Dakar, I was able to talk on HorizonsUnlimited forum with one mototraveler from Spain, named Jonathan. He started later than me, but he was more systematical and was already in Bamako. He was going to Cape Town too, so we also agreed to meet in the capital and maybe to continue our way together. On the road to Kidira I got a message from him – if you see tollroad points on the road go around them on the sidelines as all local mopeds do. Otherwise, you’ll get a fine(!) if you try to pay and drive through the barrier as cars. I then thought that I had somehow misunderstood him. However, at the entrance to the toll collection point I saw the sign – two-wheeled vehicles have to detour to the right. On the sidelines. Eccentric system. Okay, at least it’s free.

During the first turn, I saw truck in the ditch, burned to ashes. I slightly stiffened.


Later down the road I saw a lot of things like this. Vehicles burned or simply destroyed in the accident. Judging from the tracks and lumps of tires around – it seems that major cause of such accidents is the wheels blown up. In the Africa nobody cares about that. They ride until tires explode. This is indirectly confirmed also by constantly encountered trucks, whose drivers jumped on the wheel wrench changing the tire exploded on a spare one.

Everything was beautiful. And the ubiquitous donkeys.


Most of the road was nice and easy. I carefully maneuvered to avoid suddenly appearing pits on the road. Avoided tollroad posts by the sideways. Stopped in the villages to buy cold water in a plastic bag, carefully avoiding dehydration and overheating, bitter experience after Dakar. It begins to darken when it was about one hundred kilometers to Bamako. And here all hell broke loose.

Asphalt road has become increasingly interspersed by tarmac. It got dark completely. Once there was the asphalt, now it was rolled up to the ground in some places but the holes still remain. The road was nothing but a sieve of the pits. Goddamn pits were everywhere. If you attempt to go round the pit, then you may be able to avoid be one or two but the third will get you for sure. Most of the time it was safer to go by the sideways. Trucks were everywhere. They went carefully avoiding the holes using the whole width of the road. They did not care about the others. If two such trucks met they were blinking lights and buzzed each other to the last meters and only then attempted to drift apart. Overtaking was a lottery – you never know where the truck going to turn next seconds. Complete the picture with the dust, the ubiquitous dust. The dust from the wheels, dust in the wind and just goddamn dust.

I thought that it is a good idea to find a place for the night and stopped at the last town before the Bamako. And I realized that I made a mistake. In the city of Kayes, in the beginning, I took some cash from the ATM, assuming that I can do it in the future along the way. Of course it was my blunder. There was bank in the city, but it was closed for renovation … Next one was in Kati which is a suburb of Bamako. Also on the horizon loomed another problem – with the remaining gasoline I was not sure if I can do it even to Kati… What else can I do? I’m back on the road.

It was difficult to call it otherwise than overbearing. I slowed down at first to 80 kilometers per hour. Then to 60. Then to 40. It did not help. Because of the dust visibility was almost zero. Most of the holes were not deep, but appeared suddenly, and sometimes after a series of maneuvering between the small holes at the end, as the final boss, was waiting a big, deep one, waiting. I could not refuse such pleasant offer, flying there with both wheels. Me and the bike was all right except for strikes in bashplate, and I went on. But luggage was not so good to handle it. In one of the pits left sidecase went off ejected. I retreated to the sideline swearing and returned it back into place. Frame lock became loose with every such time. Again, an insidious series of holes with a deep end, again fallen off sidecase. With the help of some garbage I somehow strengthen mount of the coffer. After a while I flew into a hole again, trying to overtake unpredictable passing truck as soon as possible. Again a strike in bashplate, and this time both sidecases went away to fly off. I stopped at the curb and lay down on the handlebar for a couple of seconds. Then, cursing out loud I went to pick up trunks illuminated by headlights of stopped truck. When I gathered all the luggage truck drove on calmly. I examined coffers. One of the cap locks on leftside case was destroyed. Shit, with this advancing I will arrive to Bamako with all the luggage unclosable. I slowed down even more and trudged on, sometimes stop completely to first look at the path of travel between obstacles.

When it was about 50 kilometers to Bamako,I was stopped at a police post in one of the villages. I was somehow glad because I needed some rest. While one of the policemen copied my data, the other one in some English asked me whether all is well. I complained about the quality of the roads and he laughed. But this is not the most important thing that worries me, I said. I am concerned about gasoline – and I poked a finger at warning light on the dashboard which started to burn long way ago. He walked away and came back a minute later and asked if 5000CFA is enough. I opened my mouth surprised. Many police stations in other countries tried to rip me off, but offer of help! Oh, Mali … I was extremely thankful. 5000 is more than 5 liters of petrol! That’s certainly enough to Bamako. More than that – the officer asked me if I knew where the nearest gas station, and I answered that I do not know, and he jumped in the car and asked to follow him. Station is not on the road, he said, maybe you will not find it. We drove to the next village, turned several times and were at the gas station. I refueled. Police guy escorted me back to the track and wished a happy journey. I stood on the sideline and smoked. I passed a lot of villages before and saw that often there you can not even buy something to eat with meat, they simply don’t have it. Life here is not easy sometimes. Nevertheless, these people were kind. Much better and honest than in Senegal. The contrast between the two countries is simply amazing. And what the police guy did – it is the real thing. I mentally wished happiness to him and his family. And I moved on to conquer another holes and pits.

The last leg of the journey to Bamako I drove for almost three hours. I have resigned myself to the thought that I did not meet anyone today to communicate. All I wanted to is to arrive finally and maybe drink something, and after lay down to rest. In this scenario, I have not had to choose a place where to stay. Back in Dakar, when I received a visa for Mali (simple and easy, 24000CFA, and two profile pictures, the next day ready) and filled out a questionnaire – I was puzzled by the question what to write in the “alleged place of residence.” There was a couple of travelers engaged in filling form and they told me: “Write Sleeping Camel anyway all travelers go there.” I wrote. And now it is recalled in my mind and I dug a little bit in the Navigator. Yes, there is such a point in the POI. I set up the route and drove the last 3 kilometers.

In the last few meters I skirted the territory of the German Embassy, ​​which somehow looked like a fortress, and stopped near tightly closed gray colored gate. At the entrance a couple of people drank tea. Little bit embarrassed by the absence of any signs I already thought that the point in the navigator may be obsolete but one of them said – Sleeping Camel? I nodded, and they knocked at the gate. Gate opened and I entered the territory. Lovely small hotel and bar. Nice. Place for camping was on a small lawn at the hotel. I quickly scattered tent and sat down at the bar which was still open. Bloody fucking hell, I wrote to Mark, you should find gasmask somewhere. I could hardly imagine how he will do the same way on the bicycle. There was a cold beer at the bar and I had begun to rebound. Ride was tough. After a short rest, I went to doze.

This place, Sleeping Camel, became my refuge for more than two weeks. I wanted to relax after Senegalese hardcore, to spend some in one place, to walk in flip-flops instead of motoboots. I also really like to meet Christian, but I was not lucky – he left Bamako to spend a holiday with his family the day before my arrival and was going to return no sooner than a month. However, the place was very nice and it was good to take some rest. The owner of the hotel was American guy, Phil. And he knew his job well. Despite the place was cheap in general (for me it is an advantage) – there were no sloppiness which is usual to Africa. Everything was in good state and worked. The kitchen was delicious and varied and the beer was cold. All simple and unsophisticated things to which we are all so accustomed to, and which are so lacking in Africa – were here. Even such a trifles as presence of soap in the washbasin and shower and a free mosquito repellent on the bar – a rarity in Africa. The guys from the team knew their business and worked smoothly. There were many soldiers from the UN living here which also indirectly confirms the level of this place. And with all this it was one of the cheapest hotels in Bamako, if not the cheapest, as for the prices for accommodation as for food and other things. But what is the most important – the people. Here you can stay forever. Someone came, someone leaving. Almost every day there was an opportunity to talk to someone, listen to stories and share your own. All kinds of people.

The next day I sat at the bar, with no desire to go anywhere but just relaxing. Had small chat with Harry, American which was very similar in character and appearance to Jim Moffett from the “The World’s Fastest Indian” movie. He traveled all over Africa on an old Jeep Wrangler. We have a few hours telling each other about our adventures and then I sat down to write some logs. The day passed quickly.

I met Jonathan, this guy from Spain, which was heading to Cape Town on a motorcycle as I do. He looked cheerful. According to information on the Internet, to get a visa to Nigeria in general is hardly possible, and he was very worried about it. But contrary to the fears he was able to get a visa – quickly and easily. By exchanging our plans we have come to the conclusion that we couldn’t go together – he was limited in time and had to return home until December. For me, on the contrary there was no sense to arrive in South Africa so early – I had to reach the United States after the winter it has no sense for me to stay for at least three months in South African Republic, and even visa will not allow me to do so. But the fact that he would go ahead of me were very useful in terms of the relevant information. At the end I repaired headlights on his Africa Twin so they are light on the road instead of trying to call Batman. Jonathan left.

On the second day, as usual, I put my notebook in one of the tables and began to write. It was evening and at the next table UN soldiers were drinking beer. The English and the Scots. They asked me what I was doing. Writing travel notes here, I said. Their faces significantly transformed. You’re crazy!, cried one of them. Mali is now the most dangerous place on the Earth! Do you even understand of what danger you expose yourself to?! Did you know that a few months ago, three hundred meters away, one of the nightclubs was shot by radicals and and they threw some grenades in the end? If I were in your place, said one of them, I would have sparkled heels away without looking back. And you sit here and you write your blog notes! U mad! You will write that everything is well, tourists will come here and die! I looked around and began to understand why the hotel looks more like a well-fortified fortress. I have to admit that they scared me a little, but it was more like that they are scared even more. Well… It was okay so far.

There I met Zas. Zas, it was a nickname. His name was Ivan. Russian roots somewhere, hehe. Originally from South Africa, a middle-aged white guy, working with the United Nations (as most non-travelers are here). The charismatic, cheerful, always happy to chat. He lamented the fact that he also has a motorcycle, and he loves to travel on it, but the work does not allow to do that often. We agreed to meet when I arrive to South Africa and do a bit of road together. I was glad of it – now at the final point of travel there is a companion waiting for me, someone who knows local realities and at the same time close to me in spirit. Zas introduced me to Marion – a french girl who has worked at some of the intergovernmental Franco-Malian committee. It was very interesting to talk with her in the evenings with a beer or to get somewhere with her friends.

In the meantime there was the Rugby World Cup and Zas got me hooked on this game. Hitherto I had not been an ardent fan of any sport, the football for example, but this game tooks me. Hardcore, overcome fight. Together with him we have seen how the New Zealand team kicked ass French team with a crushing score. The game was fun. A huge number of French from the UN sat at the bar sat with sad faces and only table with the British guys jumped and danced rejoicing that France loses. The good old stereotypes, hehe. Rugby took me so that later, when Zas left, we continued to exchange messages and comments about the games.

Finally, I waited for Mark. Half an hour before his arrival, he wrote to me: “order a beer, we need to celebrate the victory over this way”. I can imagine why. Together with Mark, we started exploration of surrounding areas for shops with normal food and, most importantly – the embassies. In Bamako simply there is no addresses.




Well they have adresses nominally, but only nominally. In reality there is local landmarks only. “The German Embassy,” “Before reaching the UNICEF office”, “the right of the square of ​​Patrice Lumumba”… For Mark it was necessary to obtain a visa in Côte d’Ivoire, and the search for their embassy took us half a day. Like a soccer ball we wandered from place to place, asking locals. Most of them guide us to the square of ​​Patrice Lumumba. The thing was that the Ivory Coast embassy moved from there EIGHT years ago. As a result, we managed to find it, near the Radisson hotel, with legs worn-out to corns. For our way back we wanted to catch a taxi and in the end we drove on a local moped. Three of us on a single moped. Funny.

Upon returning to the hotel we met the four guys from Germany who were traveling to Benin. They traveled in the minivan and were very cheerful. The next day we visited another embass, ​​and in the evening decided to sit at the bar. Sitting at the table we have noticed a bored guy and invited him to our table. Guy originally from Afghanistan, living 16 years in the US, and also working in the United Nations. Alltogether we got drunk like hell.

Mark and I slowly made visas looking for the embassies. We did not repeat the mistake of trying to walk – we used my motorcycle.


One day we was even able to go boating





In the evening with the dinner prepared on the burner and drinking beer we talked to different people. Somewhere in that time I received a message from Jonathan: “I changed my mind to go further. I will look for a ship from Benin to Spain”. What a news. Why, I asked him. He said that he is not enjoying the trip anymore. He was so happy to get Nigerian visa and as a result he does not even use it. I shared this with Mark and he discouraged me … With the fact that he is going to fly to South America from Benin and Togo. What is it? A mystic crap? I have met many travelers on their way to Cape Town, but all of them by some strange coincidence somehow gave up. And no one could recall intelligible cause. Usually it was “tired of Africa” stuff.

I remember Yuri who flew home from Senegal. Then the rest of them. And the only thing I found in common between them – all of them all the time have to strive to “survive”. Search cheaper things, boil water from the tap instead of buying, ready to walk the extra few kilometers to buy something cheaper by a few percent. This is logical and correct because the time is convertible, and when you have a lot of it you can use it to save money. But if you are under such stress in constant (and Africa is also quite expensive place comparing it to Europe for example) sooner or later you will surrender. Constantly under stress, not allowing yourself to relax for extra dime and of course not a drop of alcohol… conclusion is logical. Even I was visited by idea to look for a ship to South America because of the information that Nigeria – the most dangerous country if we talk about “ordinary” crimes… But I dismissed it. I have a goal. I will try to achieve it. In the end I was much more relaxed then others. Sometimes it is expensive for me but it allows me not to loose the mind. The only thing I regret is the departure of Jonathan because now I will not receive fresh-date information on road conditions and other things. But maybe it’s for the best. I’ll just have to be careful.

I repaired the electrics on a Mark’s bicycle and did some mess with the brakes. Mark went to Côte d’Ivoire and invited me to celebrate his birthday in Togo at November tenth.


Finally some photos of this wonderful pleasant place where I spent more than two weeks.






… Well, visas made and bike is serviced … Now I need just to figure out how to get out of here. The cost of visas and some parts was a little higher than I expected. The funds has ended.

06.10.2015 Dakar-Kidira, Senegal


We spent all night on a road to Dakar. Suleiman was in a hurry to finish his deals as soon as possible and sell minivan and for me it was just at hand. I did not feel myself free without the motorcycle, always dependent on someone else will, always have to look for transport, to negotiate … We went to the night occasionally slowing down to sudden speed bumps. Suleiman told me that local police don’t have any radars, so the only way to get the locals to slow down is to place such constraints.

Somewhere at four in the morning we arrived in a suburb of Dakar where Suleiman had friends. Of course at such a late time they slept. The house was fenced with tall fence with huge gates, door bell was missing. Attempts to call on a cellphone failed too. We parked the van near the fence, Suleiman climbed on it and moved over the fence. I lit a Marlboro Red for which I went to Africa (because often there is no other choice in local shops) and felt myself like an accomplice guard and smiled. All that looks weird. However, ten minutes later we were allowed into the yard, accepted, and we were given a place to sleep. Still amazing how sometimes people are so kind.

Next morning after the primitive shower in the style of “water yourself from a watering can” and breakfast we talked to a large family of friends Suleiman and moved towards Dakar. A few hours of sleep was not enough for me. Among the luggage there was a sofa aslo helping in fix the motorcycle from the movements in the trunk. I moved back and sprawled on it, instantly asleep. Some time later, I was awakened by the fact that the whole bus went to shake and the bike was hanging menacingly over me. I got up and got off the couch. Before the wheels of the Mercedes lay something that can hardly be called a road. According to my estimates the road to Dakar should have been better. Suleiman told me that it is but this time we’re going to bypass the main road, because of the police which could ask for bribes and it would be good to avoid it. The road was getting worse. I went back to the motorcycle and literally fell on it, trying to keep it in one place. Motorcycle tottered with me leaving a scratches on my hands. I noticed left turn signal destroyed. That’s sad. Sooner or later the road again became smooth asphalt, and we butted into the traffic jam. I began my acquaintance with Dakar.


An hour later we arrived at the local workshop. If you can call it. Waterlogged former market which extends from the side with a sandlot with a football field and a square for repair works. Several dozen disassembled cars on a different stages of repair works and local mechanics scurrying around. The hot sun and the smell of fumes. There Suleiman planned to do some servicing before selling his minivan and look on the side for an opportunity to find a tire for me. He made a few phone calls and some time later two men arrived to our van with a pair of tires with them. One of tires had wrong dimensions, but the other one was just right. Pirelli Scorpion. Used by 50 percent and in the cracks. Old. 60 euros including installation. Better than nothing, I told myself as I was almost obsessed with the idea of ​​free movement. We shook hands, pulled the bike out of the minivan, pumped the wheel as much as possible, and then drove to the nearest tire workshop. While master surprisingly deftly and quickly changed the tire I had a little chat with one of the guys who brought the wheel. He spoke a little in English and asked me about Russia. For me it was a shock to learn that Senegal have strong stereotype: “in Russia there is racism around, and if you come to, then someone definitely will attack and kill you.” What a shit. However, from our side about Africa there is also still a considerable amount of stupid stereotypes.

Soon the rear wheel of my bike regained normal tire. Here it is, freedom. I felt winged. Once again I can move on my own! I can go anywhere! I drove back to the minivan and began to pack things hurry because Suleiman wanted to reach Bissau on the same day. Half an hour later the bike regained touristic look and I dressed in the riding outfit. It is time to say goodbye to Suleiman. I asked him about the last photo, but he agreed only in exchange that I will leave it to me and I will not upload it to the Internet. Well, it was his desire that I respect. We cordially said goodbye and I went to the Annex Kings Plaza, the hostel where Yuri stopped. Mark also was there but only for one night, because he found a French family with “warmshower” (analogue of couchsurfing for cyclists) and moved to them.

Hostel itself is located on one of the streets parallel to the main avenue, so it was not easy to find it. Outwardly, it’s made a good impression – fresh building, cozy balcony, a colorful sign. I parked the bike and walk on reception. I ask them if there any other russian guy living in there and they called Yuri. We met like old friends. I dragged my luggage into six-people dorm. The guests were just the two of us. At first glance, the place was not bad but it was only at first glance. Later two Japanese arrived to the same room. The spend all the time inside, not talking, stuck in internet. Strange guys.

The morning of the next day has come. I only had one day to extend pasavant for my motorcycle, otherwise I have to register in the new one and not the fact that it was possible to be. Separately taken bureaucratic hell, in a country where nobody speaks English, almost no one. Three different main offices of customs, equidistant from each other about a kilometer. And I, hanging around with my riding equipment in the midday heat, because it’s difficult to find a space for the parking in the center of the city. A couple of times my head “floated”, so vast was the overheating of the body. Finally I got extended pasavant (which is amazing – free) and rushed to the motorcycle. Next to it curled some local parasite publicly stating that parking here is prohibited and I have to pay him a fine. Naturally, no badges and documents that it is at least some representative of the controlling staff. I exploded. I was so irritated by persistent beggars and brazen attempts to rip me off throughout my stay in this country that could not stand it anymore. With pious Russian obscenities at the best terms, throwing out a hand as Lenin, I labored lecture about freeloaders, job search and work for the good of the country, at the same time indicating the direction in which he must go to find easy money.

And I went back to the hostel. The body carrying me with last bits of forces surrendered. I was felled by fever. Dorm that seemed good at first turned into hell. Dark room in the hostel, without ventilation, going wild humidity (things laundered by me could not dry for three days) has become my prison for a few days. I needed a rest, but it’s hard to imagine the worst place for this. Malaria, as I now remember, bevel all three of us (me, Mark and Yuri) almost simultaneously. These were some of the darkest days of my trip. Despite the fact that we all have it passed relatively easily and quickly – oppressive atmosphere of the room did its job. Somewhere here Yuri gave up. He bought a ticket to home.

Fortunately for me I was lucky to find a Russian family on a CouchSurfing so I moved as soon as possible. Great guys, wife who works as a photographer, and husband who builds a fish factory. And the two nicest children. Life again gained its colors. I lie for a few days, recovering and restoring my forces. Got a message from Mark. He will be in two days at the border of Senegal and Mali and offered me to cross the border together. It was two days for me to reach Kidira, border town so I have supported the idea and began to pack the stuff. It’s time to leave Dakar.

This town did not forget to present me a last gift – the main highway was blocked by government for repair works, resulting in pushing and shoving in a traffic jam on the side streets. Several times I could hardly keep the bike – wildest humidity combined with the heat fused brains so that the vestibular system has lost a sense of balance. Finally, I jumped back on the highway and drove a few kilometers in a stand, allowing the wind to penetrate all the vents of equipment, returning body temperature to normal state. I could breathe again. Green landscapes run around gladdening the eye at every turn.


Once good, road start to deteriorating showing sudden pits and potholes more often. Omnipresent red dust covered me and the bike.


At some point, the road suddenly turned into tarmack, more like a motocross track strewn with holes the size of half of motorcycle. One of the potholes cunningly trapped under my wheels,\ and I hit it hard. Side cases emergency system was triggered. It is designed for operation in case of falling to reduce the damage and the bike and sidecases. But flight to this hole was so rapid that the bike and me went on and the left case has ejected jumping on a ground couple of times. I stopped swearing, picked sidecase, slightly improve the situation with improvised means, and moved on significantly reducing the speed (which, incidentally, is not much help). The beauty around slightly offset the inconvenience


On my way to Kidira I spent a night near Tambacounda and the next day met Mark at about 30 kilometers to the border town. Once again, we were glad the meeting and hugged, excitedly talking about our latest adventures. We agreed that I will wait Mark somewhere in the city where we going to restock provisions, buy the beer and roll back a bit to find a spot for camping. It was a good idea – it is much better to storm the border in the morning. By late in the evening we found an abandoned building, where we comfortably set up and stretched mosquito net. We uncorked a beer and sat on the edge of the floor. It seems that we have found a roof over our head exactly in time – lightnings glittering on the horizon overtook the surroundings and brought the rain. Under the incessant flashes of lightning and the rain we talked about the adventures and enjoyed a beer. I asked myself the question often haunting me – a few months ago, when I started my journey on with a first kilometer in Moscow, accompanied by friends, could I assume that everything will be like that? Of course no. This added some atmosphere to the moment. On the ministove in a pot we boiled the pasta with sausages. Two travelers hidden in the middle of nowhere in the abandoned building talked about everything under the sound of rain and rumbling thunder. After eating and drinking we went sleep peacefully, and only random visit of a donkey disturbed is in that night.

In the morning, remembering the border crossing from Mauritania to Senegal we were ready for anything. Including spend as much time as it needs. We drove into the city, found the customs office to stamp the passport. Then we drove to the checkpoint. Some customs officer said that we need to pass the inspection, showing to the site of the mud, rain blurred. “Oh come on, officer” said Mark, “do you really want to climb down to that shithole?”. Officer waved his hand. We left Senegal. The rate of passage of border gave us confidence. We crossed the river Fale and saw a sign “Frontiere Senegal – Mali”.


02.10.2015 Saint-Louis, Senegal

Senegal, the first country in the “other Africa” as Christian said. The first country after the “Great Arabic Belt” as he called the countries inhabited by Arabs. The three of us walked through the border town, looking around. The sun beat down mercilessly as we were puzzled by searching currency exchange office – I still had remains of ougiyas and the guys were carrying euros – all of this had to be changed to CFA – the currency of the West African Union. Cefa as they call it. But no matter that there was the middle of the day – the banks were closed. We have noticed the post of gendarmerie and bored police officer at the entrance. We went to him, asking about place where is possible to change money. He calmly took out his phone and called someone and said: “Wait”. Border town, yes. We dropped backpacks to the ground and waited. Nearby, on the banks of the Senegal River a few women washed things pouring dirty water into the river. Some children swam in the same place. It was quite funny to watch it remembering the instructions of the guides “do not to swim in local waters in any case”.


Guys sighing from time to time about the slowness of the exchanger but I learned the Zen, continuing to train myself that I often have to wait for a long time during my way in Africa.

Nevertheless, changer arrived and we exchanged currency for a reasonably good rate. Then we got to the “bus station” where we were to split up. Mark on the bicycle went to Dakar, and me and Yury was going to Saint Louis where I was supposed to meet with Suleiman after Tabaski.

Bus station presented a pitiful sight. Corroded canopy under which stood cars of the same rust grades.


After little haggling we reached agreement with one of the drivers … and waited again. Because in the car still was a place for another passenger, and what we have to do? That’s right, we have to wait. After a couple of hours we were finally able to advance in the direction of Saint-Louis on a deadly-smoking diesel rusty tub that could hardly move without assistance. Almost immediately we were stopped by a police officer who saw the white people in the car, us. I tensed, remembering complains of Belgian couple on the border that every cop in Senegal felt obliged to rip them off. But the officer checked only one passport, looking for entry stamp, and then returned the documents and wished a happy journey. Good start.

Senegalese life fled behind windows. Piles of garbage was significantly lesser, and a lot of green colors of nature. The eye accustomed to the desert could not get enough of the landscape. The road was of excellent quality and I fell asleep until Saint-Louis. After landing on the central square we stomped through half the town waving away pesky taxi drivers. After an hour or more, we arrived at the Auberge Pelican – cheap mini-hotel on the oceanfront recommended by many travelers. It has very cute territory, and the cheapest bungalow we were able to rent cost us 7500 cefa for two (about 6 euros each).


We went to a bar with view of the ocean and reception girl brought us beer. La Gazelle, local one. Light, 4.2%. Cold beer for the first damn long time. When was the last time? When I met the German on an orange van. I collapsed in a chair, drank, smoked, and looking at the ocean realized that happiness is somewhere here. Accompanied by the rustle of the wind and the sound of the waves, I looked at the sun of bluish color translucent through the thick veil of moisture.


The next day we went to wander around the city, to buy food and local SIM cards. Local life is strikingly different from the Mauritaninan. Senegalese much more funny and emotional, women in dresses and not wearing head scarves, and this bright light Senegalese music everywhere. Rubbish was still omnipresent but at least not in such quantities that you have to walk on it. Fishing boats, an incredible number of them, painted in bright colors bizarre patterns. Local lorries trying to contempt the famous Pakistani trucks for coloring and quantity of jewelry. And the omnipresent humidity. At midday it was not easy to carry it on, so we postponed the idea to go to the beach for the evening.


Beach is worthy of special mention. We visited it in the evening. The long sandy beach strip was divided into improvised soccer fields as it was visible to the eye. None of them was not idle – the players were everywhere. Everywhere around Senegalese guys running back and forth doing exercises. What respect for the sport, I thought, sipping from a bottle labeled La Gazelle. And what kind of disregard for the nature around. The beach was full of garbage. Empty bottles, plastic bags, plastic containers, the remains of slaughtered animals, the corpses of cats and dogs… The ocean was incredibly warm, very rare gift of nature to the locals – but no one is interested, no one was swimming. Because in the water swam the same ubiquitous plastic and animal remains. Abomination. We hurried to get out of there. It is best to observe the ocean from a distance.

I stayed in St. Louis for several days, waiting until Suleiman will be free, escaping the heat with ice-cold beer and local rum of disgusting taste. Finally, Suleiman arrived and we gathered to rescue lorry from the border. Yuri went to Dakar – we said goodbye and agreed to meet later when I get there.

Suleiman had to get the passavant, a document which allows to travel on your vehicle in Senegal (mandatory document for vehicles over ten years old since import of old vehicles is forbidden in Senegal). We had to get the same for me as well. In St. Louis, Suleiman had been familiar with one transitier, which prepared a permit formalities for us. Permit issued by the local customs colonel who was not in a hurry to break away from his business for us. To wait again.


Finally, permission has been obtained. At the beginning of the night we arrived in Diama to take our lorry. First I opened the door of minivan and inspected the contents. To my delight everything was in place. The bike and things were left untouched. Amazing. After another half an hour of polite conversation with the customs we have finally been released. Hooray! Straight from there we went to Dakar. My passavant was issued only for 48 hours and I had to extend it in the central customs office in Dakar, so it was impossible to lose time. I have yet to find a tire.

28.09.2015 Rosso, Senegal

Motorcycle in the Suleiman’s van, I’m in the passenger seat. We left the border of Western Sahara and entered No Man’s Land. The length of several kilometers long, unruled by any state. The first impression that comes to mind – the world after a nuclear war. The narrow sandy dirt track winds between minefields which are belongs to nobody. Getting off the trail – a real risk to the life. Sideways of meandering trail littered with skeletons of all sorts of vehicles – those who have not been able to import in one of the countries and was left as is. Cunning people are slowly pulling apart their parts.


Here we again met Christian who was stuck at the border for much longer than us. I got into his bus and I was presented with an icy can of beer. Half-worn paint on the sides of the tin can hinted that it lay a lot of time in the sands in the middle of no-man’s land. Importing of alcohol is strictly forbidden in Mauritania, so that in case of failure all sorts of drinks sometimes befalls the fate of a cars – they remain here until better times. Christian dug some and put in the fridge to the accompaniment of a bottle of Scotch. We were sitting in the bus, imposingly leaning back, smoking and squinting in the sun-drenched wasteland behind the windows …

Later we went with Suleiman to storm the Mauritanian border. In a some way I was glad that my motorcycle in the minivan, as Suleiman knew all the nuances and tricks of local procedures, and I did not have unnecessary spendings and to fend off pesky helpers. But what put me into a stupor – the price of visas. Two months ago, single-entry visa for 30 days was at the price of 50 euros. Now its price is 120 euros. I heard from the travelers about this but refused to believe. For what? Later I realized why. Mauritania – a young country, which, in the long run, there is nothing. When people coming to power – a huge problem of human nature comes out. To grab everything. Rather than develop tourism, business and transit country as a whole, local authorities are more concerned with folding money in their pocket. The whole country is essentially feeds off by the road – because in West Africa it is the only way from North to South. Want you or not – you will go here. And it’s designed everything. Don’t like the price for the visa? Nobody holds you, go try to look for the other way. Oh, you don’t like extortion at every police post? The answer is the same. Asphalt road from north to south, which laid three years ago – all in the cracks. “Economy”. Along the edges of the road sometimes you can see occasional ugly square huts made out of improvised stuff – a few houses along the road in the desert, proudly referred to as a village. Sometimes there are villages richer, but for some reason abandoned-looking. Like this one.


Mauritania was the only country about which I previously searched for information – that contributed to the ubiquitous warnings on the Internet from various embassies of developed countries, urging visit the country unless absolutely necessary due to including the frequent cases of kidnapping. And even though I was prepared for what I will see but still in my heart was hoping that as usual all somewhat exaggerated. And now, after some time, I can say that in general I did not feel the danger in this country. The local population is indifferent to travelers, and all the negative generated by officials and a huge host of the parasites that are twisted around. For them the traveler it’s just a bag of money which should be ripped off.

On the way to Nouakchott, capital of Mauritania, we stopped at a roadside cafe to buy food and water. There I met Mark. The young Swiss, burnt in the sun at first seemed a mirage to me. To reach here by bicycle? Impossible. Surreal. Nevertheless – here it is with peeling skin and his bicycle as well. Man of Steel, no other way to tell. Mark remained in the cafe where the owner offered him to stay for the night, as me and Suleiman, in turn, were in need to quickly get to Nouakchott, so our communication was bright but fleeting. We are back on track.

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And after about six hours, in a deep night, we appeared in the capital. Stopped at a mini-hotel Auberge Sahara, as it later turned out to be very popular among various kinds of travelers (it was very entertaining to read about it in Viktor Romantik blog later, hehe). In that place we met an elderly German. He had an old minibus, the same good old Mercedes Benz, and when annual maintenance of minivan became too expensive in Germany – he decided to sell it to the Guinea-Bissau. A good way to spend a vacation as well. However, with the release of the idea it did not look so colorful to him, judging by his face, expressing disgust to surroundings. It was his first time in Africa and he was happy to sit on our tail because Suleiman had all the necessary experience. This place, Hotel Sahara, was to become one of the key points for me, but now we spent the night and early morning moved towards Senegal to border-crossing point Diama. With the orange van of German driver hanging on our tail we forced our way through the center of the capital (the youngest in the world, as it is not even 50 years old). Again I felt myself as if in a post-apocalyptic movie. Destroyed skeletons of cars, rusty, crumpled, welded with scalded bars, barely able to move – here it was the usual type of transport. Ancient container truck with a huge trailer with right door that hanging on one hinge and carefully adhered by the passenger. Ancient universal “Reno” smoking so much that it seems that they consume more oil than gasoline. And tons of garbage around. On the road, on the roadside, everywhere. People just walking on top of it. Picture is complemented by the ever-present puddles and small swamps. Place for the capital was chosen not so smart – below sea level and on the coast, resulting in floods on a regular basis.


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After a hundred and fifty kilometers to the south along the edge of the road began to flicker rare overgrown greenery and small groves of acacia trees. Another fifty kilometers the surroundings turned green. My eyes could not get enough!


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I have not seen green grass since I left Berrechid, and after many, many kilometers of scorched land, I was struck by the sudden beauty of pure green. Finally, I’m leaving the desert.

In the middle of the route we were once again stopped at the police checkpoint.

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Next to checkpoint was hanging around one of “helpers.” Hideous-looking man, the whole shape of which can be described in one word: “impudence”. Despite the words of Suleiman, German man decided to trust him and as a result we split. Orange minivan with the German driver and helper on board flew forward at full speed.

The last twenty kilometers to the border crossing Diama run through the national park, stretching along the Senegal River.


Everywhere traces of wild animals, like those facoheruses.


A lot of birds of different types and the great variety of colorings. Instead of asphalt – a clay track, winding between the marshes. In very dry days you can pass it easily but in rainy ones – not even worth trying. Dry clay is solid, and wet – is sticky and slippery. I had good opportunity to understand that pushing lorry when we accidentally slipped into a rut which still has a little of water. We was only was able to get out with the help of other passers. I stood behind the bus, out of breath, covered in mud from head to toe. Suleiman smiled and said that local clay is good for health.

Finally, we reached the border crossing. Orange lorry was there too. A guy from Germany, hardly dissapointed by the helper, suddenly came up to us and asked if we wanted beer. Suleiman refused but I came to the wild delight! Beer! In Mauritania! Indeed, if you see the German – ask him if he have a beer. And he will. While the import of alcohol in Mauritania prohibited in any form, and therefore not available for sale anywhere in the country (although I heard about Chinese restaurants in Nouadibou, who distill their own brew and can still sell under the counter a bit). But the main thing – thanks to him, I closed my gestalt “to drink in every country” in relation to Mauritania. Hehe.

Mauritania and Senegal divided by the river and in Diama was built by a small bridge-dam. Suleiman quickly settled formalities and we drove to the bridge. I am glad that finally leave the inhospitable and alien Mauritania, a country after which lays “True Africa,” as was told by Christian. I was glad that we were able to settle all before a religious holiday, Tabaski. And the stronger was the blow that followed. I was approached by Suleiman and the Senegalese customs officer. “It seems we have a problem and you have to return to Nouakchott.” I could not believe my ears. What?! Why?! Because they not providing visas at the border despite all official statements. The system is not working. So the only chance is to come back to Mauritania and head to the embassy of Senegal, which, of course, only in Nouakchott. My French friend had no way to go back, his family waited for him to spend holidays. Thick, almost bursting with pride filled him, black Senegalese customs officer with undisguised glee recited to me «Sir! We expell you from Senegal country!». Perhaps it was the only such case in his career. I really wanted to thin out that smile a little bit, but I had no choice but to turn back. We split for an indefinite period – Suleiman went to relatives in Senegal, lorry with a motorcycle remained in the customs parking lot with unclosable door, and I was returning to Nouakchott, hastily grabbed with only a backpack. Hardly I was not stuck on this bridge because a visa to Mauritania was only single entry. Representatives of both sides for a long time deliberated among themselves, making calls for bosses for further instructions. After some time one of them wrote something with pen directly over the exit stamp and this allowed me to go back. And to finish it, due to the lack of any transport the only option to get out of the border were to use the services of that same parasite which spud German guy. For a very long time he tried to persuade me to go to his home and to advance in Nouakchott next morning (taught by observations I knew what the spectacle of ripping me off would follow), and when I sent him off it again – he finally called to a friend who took me to Nouakchott for my last remaining 50 euros from the latest emergency reserve. Given that public transportation from the nearest town (if it was not so late) would cost 7 euros. Such arithmetic here.

I certainly came back to the same Auberge Sahara. Local staff recognized me and gave the key to the same room, which is now cost me twice as much because I was alone. No money, bike 200 kilometers away from me with destroyed rear tire, there was Tabaski loomed on the horizon with its five-day weekend … I spent the evening indulging in melancholy and reflection on the future course of action. Just to make sure once again that the darkest times are always before the dawn. By drinking tea in the morning, I saw the first ray of positive – familiar man on a bicycle rolled into the territory of Auberge. Yes it is that Swiss guy whom we met on the way to Nouakchott! We were damn glad to see each other, we have met like old friends. It’s very hard to describe that feeling when you’re in an alien and hostile country meet a man congenial to you. The second positive news was brought by Positive himself :) I was contacted and informed of the transfer material support, ie money. It was so in time that surroundings suddenly changed their paint faded to bright. I am not alone, I am supported! And that means it’s time to fight back! And we went into battle – storming the embassy of Senegal.

The process of obtaining a visa took two days (one day to apply, to another day to get). Nothing special, a completed form, three photos, a photocopy of the passport and money …. Contrary to official Senegalese statements – in its own consulate me and Mark was stripped for 10800 ougiyas (this is 30 euros) each. So it goes. But the main goal was achieved – there was a visa in my passport. Now I had only to wait out untill the main day of the Tabaski is over and hope to be able to find some transport to Rosso, largest border crossing to Senegal. From there I must advance in St. Louis to reunite with Suleiman and begin the operation to rescue the motorcycle from captivity of Diamal. But soon Tale told, but not soon things are done.

The day before the festivities Mark woke up before me, woke me up and said that “some russian” arrived to Auberge Sahara. I was asleep and thought he was joking but he assured me that it is absolutely serious. Intrigued, I went into the courtyard and really found there another participant of future events and companion – Yuri. Yura, as well as Mark, replied “do not know” to the question “where are you going” which impressed me. He quit his job, rented out the apartment, took his savings and hit the road. That reminds me something :) The only difference between us was just that Yuri travels by public transport, but at the moment it was good for me – he was just as I going to Senegal and it will be easier to overcome this way together.

Tabaski began. We farewell to Mark who decided in advance to go in the direction of Senegal. The picture: Yury on the right. In the center, with the bicycle – Mark, the other – the other guests.


Just mark.


Stores do not work. The streets virtually deserted. Celebrating. Frankly, I didn’t noticed any sign of celebrations – I thought it would be something public and universal as we have a in new year, for example. But, apparently, in this case, this holiday was family-related. Local staff with whom we had become friends invited us to enjoy one of the traditional dishes for the occasion. Beef and potatoes, simple in general :)

The next day, when public transportation started its work again me and Yuri followed Mark’s route. For 6 euros each easily flew to Rosso which is a border crossing point along the way, and, waving away all sorts of “help”, broke through to the customs office for pedestrians. At first all went well, customs employee copied data from passports, asked passport photocopies (why? you’re already rewriting data, come on) aggressively offered to exchange ougiyas to CFA – western union Franks, the West African currency union. And then we were brought to the Customs boss that impressively lying on a mattress in the middle of the office and told us to wait. What exactly wee have to wait was unclear to us. By asking and clarifications we still were managed to find out that brand new fancy biometric visa system (fingerprints and everything else that was taken when we received the visa) does not work because … there is no electricity. On the question of what should we do now – they looked at us expectantly so literally telepathic transferring the idea wrapped in crispy ougiyas. But by the time we were so annoyed by this whole system of levies, both official and not, that we firmly decided – no penny more than necessary. We must wait – okay, we will wait.

We came to the courtyard of Customs which partitioned off the river from the rest of the city and saw Mark. Our joy knew no bounds – the three of us together again, and thus the burden are three times less. The only thing that clouded Mark – he was abused by some helper and gave him 5000 ougiyas (almost 15 euros) for “ferry transportation”, as in Rosso there is no bridge, only public and private ferries. Given that the official price of the ferry – 40 ougiyas … Helper disappeared. Mark furiously cut through the courtyard and fro, trying to discover that helper among others but all in vain. The helper probably already resting got enough for the whole day. Here also we met a family from Belgium who were just totally pissed of by the Africa. In a bad way. Very strange people. They sold the house in Belgium, collected all their stuff in a huge trailer-camper and decided to move to Senegal. Never visiting it before. And now they were on their way back to Europe, in a total frenzy of it all. In addition, the head of the family was caught by malaria (we immediately drank a pill of Lariam). Sometimes it like this…

The sun had long gone behind the horizon, the deadlock was not moving. Several people that were in parallel with us and had the same problem was already on the other side, apparently with the help of bribes. Electricity has not appeared. Shrugging, we got the tents and placed them next to the customs house and went to sleep. The night was very hot and, thanks to the river, very generous to the hordes of mosquitoes, even a mosquito net was useless. Well, it is good that this whole situation is happening now, I thought. It’s time to get used to such embodiments of border crossing. I once again remembered the words of the Christian: “Africa teaches to wait.”

The following morning, electricity did not appear as well. But there were hordes of shuttle local that dragged all sorts of stuff for sale in another country. They were literally flooding the yard, and it played into our hands – the authorities ordered the guards to slap us passport stamps and let us go still not able to get from us any money. After waiting a couple of hours before departure, we finally waved the shores of Mauritania, not forgetting to spice it up with gestures a pair of sharp words.

Mark and Yuri.


Before us was now the other side, the coast of Senegal, and we are mentally prepared to spend as much time on the other side as it needs. And surprisingly, sending away the helpers we have applied to the customs office and 10 minutes later had a passports with entry stamps. And that’s all? We could not believe it. Even went to check with the officer – everything exactly okay, we can to go? Yes, we can go! Hooray! FRRREEEDOOOM! We went through the big gates of the boundary point. Senegal.