St. Louis

Bakau Travel Blog

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The net caffes have been thinning out and i cant keep up with the blog writing!

The final ride out of Mauritania was as exciting as the rest of the country. I felt like crying when leaving as there is sooo much more to see. We only saw a fraction of it.  South of Naukchott the sahara ends. Shrubs become bushes and eventually after a maze of thornes a large swamp suddenly appears. I realize this sounds rather ugly but the whole transformation of the landscape from arid dessert too fertile land is astonoshing. We took a litlle used dirt track to reach the senegalise border at diama instead of Rosso, which has an awfull reputation. After 40 km of more or less rideable dirttrack you are sourounded by swamp.  Apparently its a paradise for twitchers but they must be an odd folk as it did smell and the thought of the malarial mosquitoes at sunset was enough to drown out all beauty of changing landscapes. But on we went on a road with very deep potholes and water and swamp grass to both sides. Every so often a wild bore would pop out of the green or we would pass very poor fishing settlements. 

the bordercrossing went smooth. The very friendly Mauretanian border police man asked us for 10 euro each. We lied that we did not have anything like that and he was happy with 2 pound pr person. After similar negotiations on the senegalese side we arrived in Senegal. And since then theres been music all the way.Drumming, singing,everything. Senegal never seems to be quiet. And if the people are finally quiet the animals take over.

In st Louis we rested. I was too tired and darens bike was too broken and we had a fantastic time. In the evening melancholic singing echoed over town. Here we had beers by the river, watched the band and the blinking lights at flamingo bar. As we fell asleep that night goats and cows wandered the streets outside, having their own concert. This part of town is beautifull. The ruinded colonial buildings leave a melancolic feel too it. But St Louis is falling appart it seems. On the middle island some taxregulations keep the tourists protected from the real feel of this african city and as we ventured over a bridge that seemed too threaten to collapse as we stood on it, we were meet by imense chaos; People, boats, goats rubbish and a ramshakle of little stores that form a maze better than a moroccan medina!

That night we camped in our only spot in senegal without music playing somewhere. Tall trees were scattered in this still somewhat barren landscape and a thin layer of grass covers the sand. As darkness fell herds herded their catlle and goats home past us and a peacefull night followed.

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photo by: Lynsey_loves_Cali