(153 350 km)
November 1. 2006
Driving towards the Senegalese crossing point we realised it might be difficult to get through as we were running late. Our first encounter wasn’t inspiring. Getting to a closed gate, a man shot out of the dark demanding 10 € to open the gate and let ODD through to the border police 50 meters in front of us. After a little bit back and forth, it turned out that the demand was more or less legitimate (or so we were made to believe).Another 4000 Ouguiya poorer we made it to the border police. In front of us three Frenchmen were having a loud and tense discussion with the police official, so we knew there were more demands waiting for us. However spending some time with the police, of course always smiling and joking helped us through without any payment to the police, even though they started demanding quite a lot. Knut’s is very good at saying (or is it all bodylanguage?) that he does not speak or understand any French, something that proves to be quite a good weapon. The parallel to Emanuel, the Spanish waiter, claiming: “I know noooothing!” (in John Cleese’s TV –program “Fawlty Towers”) is striking!
We headed for the gate, believing we were done, but were cut off by the “douane” (customs) official, who demanded a full stop. Taking us into his office he said, or rather tried to say, he was going to cut off Jens penis for trying to pas the border without visiting his office, but he was soon smiling, turning out to be a nice guy. We got through without using our Carnet de passage.
Continuing towards St.Louis, just south of the border, we were pulled over at a police check point acting on its chance to make some extra bucks. They immediately started to ”work” us. Asking for our driving license, commenting our lights, continued by demanding that there should be a stamp in our “carte gris”, then asking to see a fire extinguisher following up by wanting to see our warning triangle as well. As we were able to meet all of their demands, the police officer grew more and more frustrated finally grasping for Jens bottle of whiskey. Jens rapidly explained that the content was for stomach trouble, making the guard comment that he was experiencing some stomach trouble... Jens responded politely, but firm, that the officer must have gotten the same ting as us, as he put the bottle back into the car. Turning to the officer Jens then asked if that was all. Obviously taking him by surprise the guard rather confused waived us of.
After a long and extremely hot and sticky day, not to forget all the dust covering the car, our clothes and ourselves we were all tired. Vibeke having her last days with us, decided to give us a special treat, checking us all in at the “Hotel de la Poste” one of the best hotels in town in a colonial style. The shower was unforgettable and very much needed and so were the hotel and rooms. Its probably going to be a long time till we live that god again. So a big thank you to Vibeke.
The hotel de la Poste
At the same time as we got out of our rooms, 150 French Harley Davidson bikers arrived town. They were a strange bunch of people, the majority looking more like middle aged geeks on big bikes rather than bad ass Hells Angel crew (which they are certainly not.).
November 2. 2006
We spent the day wandering the streets of Saint Louis, everyone pleased with the atmosphere here, even though there are quite a few hustlers who all want a piece of us (or more correct: our pockets). The differences from the dusty town of Noukachott are very appealing to us; hence we have decided to spend some days here at the Camping Ocean at the beach. There is a certain need to finally get some tan. After almost two months in Africa, our skins still look very far from being African (some would rather say milk white or light blue).
Tired fishermen on the beach
November 3. 2006
Not much to report. Keywords for the day: beach, sun and sunburns. Andreas had a taxi trip he probably will remember.
Life on the beach a saturday
November 4. 2006
Leaving St.Louis Jens as usual half a sleep passed a police check point in about 80 km/h making the police pretty pissed of when we finally backed up to them… The officer thought we had shown lack of respect wondering what we were thinking. He followed up by “fining” us for having a to wide car… As we stood there about every car that went past were either higher, wider or both. Jens almost loosing his temper needed help from Vibeke and Knut and after some hard discussions the officer gave up and waived us of. A pretty long and boring drive without much to see, we arrived Dakar at sunset getting into the first and “best” hotel we could find. It later turned out that Hotel Rouge also doubled as a brothel… people renting rooms for half hour at a time, the queue turned out to be outside our room and the people kept coming until 0700….. Nice!!!
November 5-7. 2006
A lazy day, visiting de la Goreè an UNESCO site for its old French buildings and former prominent place in the French slave trade. The islands cliffs were also used in the film “Guns of Navarrone” A very pleasant visit except the usual touts and hustlers… The rest of the day we used walking around and almost getting stuck in an elevator between 14th and 15th floor. We decide to walk down after lunch…
Woman watching what happends outsid
In the evening we found us a nice place to stay by the beach and said goodbye to Vibeke who were leaving us to go back to Norway and work. We will miss here company!!
The passed days we have used to get a visa for Mali, ending up paying 10€ in an “express fee” making it only one day instead of two. We followed almost the same procedure at the Cameroon embassy but smiling and some charm worked its way there… or so we thought… We are still here waiting for the visa… We have also got our insurance for ODD, shopping around a little, the prices and information varied a lot, we finally ended up with a 6month 3rd party insurance, theft and medical care for 81 600 CFA (equalling approx 160€!!!) covering the whole of west Africa and then some, we think we did a pretty good deal but as many things in Africa, time will show…
Today Knut was tried robbed. We were walking the streets when three persons surrounded Knut and suddenly one of them were pulling knut's shorts towards his feet; probably hoping to get his waist strap. however they did not manage. Rest of the time we have spent wondering around and trying to get updated on the web..
November 8. 2006
Checking out of the hotel, ready to leave Dakar as soon as the Cameroon visa had been picked up, we sat off towards the Cameroon embassy. It soon turned out that not all were as it should and after a 3 hour wait we were told that the ambassador hadn’t turned up to day!! Please come back tomorrow… Great!! They probably knew that 3 hours before so why the h¤%&#”!?.. couldent they have told us.. aarrgh!! Somewhat pissed off we decided to drive out of town to see the famous “Lac rose” (the pink lake). Unfortunately its not much to say about the lake, a lake like every other, except from the poor salt workers and the hustlers trying to sell us paintings.. It was far from pink and nothing like the postcards or the glossy tourist brochures.