Nouara - Bamako
Nouara Travel Blog› entry 21 of 22 › view all entries
MADE IT TO THE FINISH. :)
Daily Mileage 300
I really couldnâ€™t sleep after the night before and was awake quite early and long before anybody else. I was hot and sweaty and felt really dirty from lying in the dirt the night before and still had hydraulic oil on me. The only thing I had to clean myself with were baby wet wipes. Not very effective.
I was keen to get into town, find what we could to fix the car and finally get on the road to
It was a beautiful morning actually but I was so impatient. There wasnâ€™t any point in going to town early as there wouldnâ€™t be anybody around anyway.
Slowly the others started to rise and we discussed what would happen if we couldnâ€™t fix our car.
I was feeling very positive though. I really thought that we deserved a break and we would find a way of getting on the road.
Finally into town and to a shop that Steve had seen next to the petrol station where Krisztian sold his car. We were quite nervous about seeing the customs man from the day before as he would go crazy.
It was quite well stocked but didnâ€™t have exactly what we wanted. We ended up with one of the locals driving all over the town to different shops. It was quite amazing really. All these buildings were very basic mud and brick structures but once you opened the iron doors they had lots of spares. We even found a lock up with about 10 engines of all sizes but still no luck.
We were struggling to find anything to help us though and it was hard work trying to translate exactly what we wanted.
We were after some rubber high pressure hose or some metal pipelines and jubilee clips.
After well over an hour we ended up back at the original store with only 6 jubilee clips to show for our efforts. Then the guy helping us disappeared for ages. I was starting to feel low again and getting impatient.
During our wait I needed to pee and asked where I could go. The garage owner told me go around the back. As I turned the corner all I could see was a wall, so over I went. Then I had a surprise. There was this donkey standing there tied up. It was another one of these surreal moments I was now getting used to. I was standing there going about my business with this dopey looking donkey staring me in the eye. I couldnâ€™t help laughing out as I imagined what he was thinking. Iâ€™m sure he was looking at me and thinking â€śha ha is that all youâ€™ve gotâ€ť. It was so funny but just a normal occurrence these days.
Finally our man turned up and I was amazed.
We paid for all these items and headed straight back to our car.
I was really confident. Back on the floor and under the car yet again. I didnâ€™t care anymore as I could not get any dirtier!
We now had a rusty piece of pipe about 10cm long but it had the correct banjo fitting. I connected this to the clutch selector. Step 1 successful. We had a great little piece of metal pipe that I was going to use to splice the existing rubber hose via a new piece of rubber hose to this pipe. Now it went wrong again. The existing hose had a thinner inner diameter and I could not get the splice pipe to fit. I tried to cut out the middle of the hose with a small knife but it was just splitting the hose. After about 2 hours of trying we were all at a low ebb and very close to giving up. The others called me out from under the car and told me it was time to stop and get the bush taxis. I did agree with them as it was gone midday and we couldnâ€™t go on like this.
I asked them to give me 10 more minutes as there was still a part of me that thought I could do something. I was just not seeing it.
Back under and I just lay there looking at the pipes and going through all the options one last time with all the bits and pieces I had.
Then all of a sudden I saw a way. I needed to cut the metal pipeline further up in the engine bay, which I did with a Swiss army knife saw attachment. I then joined that to the rusty pipe I fitted earlier with the rubber hose and new jubilee clips. We bled the system and had no leaks. That was a good sign. I then started the car and was really nervous as I pressed the clutch pedal in. Into 1st gear and to everyoneâ€™s joy the jeep moved forward.
FANTASTIC. It was fixed. Everyone was cheering and clapping.
The problem was, how long would it last. Every time we pulled away we would rev the engine high and go straight from 1st gear to 4th to save on the amount of times we had to press the clutch pedal.
It didnâ€™t take us long to pack up and get on the road. We would get to
It was a really happy atmosphere in the car with me, Steve and Krisztian talking and laughing a lot. We only had to change the battery once on the way to
Amazingly we finally made it to the boarder of
As we pulled away the exhaust snapped in half !. This jeep was really trying our patience. Who cares, only 15km to go and I could handle the car sounding like a steam train!.
After some initial confusion with hotel reservations we were finally in our room.
Part of our entry fee was to include a room in a 5 star hotel on the last night. They had actually booked me and Steve in together. And it was a double bed !! After all this time together I was so looking forward to a room to myself. It didnâ€™t matter though. After the last 48hrs this was the least of our problem.
When Steve went for a shower all I could hear was him laughing his head off.
It was the same for me and I was amazed at how dirty I actually was. I had red dust in places I didnâ€™t even know I had places!!. It was the longest and best shower I have ever had in my life.
We all then met for a great meal and headed off to the finish party at a terribly name bar. â€śClub Ibizaâ€ť Not the sort of place I drove to
I was a very happy man. JJJ