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On to Dakar

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It was only a short hop down to the Zebra Bar from Saint Louis, which is probably just as well as I really was not feeling much like cycling, although I have to admit to enjoying the sandy piste to get there once the tarmac ran out!  Tim (Cullen) spoke very highly of this place and I could see why, it’s in a beautiful setting and the accommodation options range from camping to pretty luxurious huts. I of course chose camping.

The Zebra Bar – even the gate is impressive!

After enjoying one of the few beers I’ve consumed this trip (an enormous bottle of Gazelle) and then a warm shower, I wandered around. It didn’t take me long to snap a few pictures of the local wildlife and already I was wishing I didn’t have to leave so soon for Dakar and the British Embassy.

OK who knows what this bird is called?

These little fellows were everywhere.

The beach was beautiful, with pirogue boats moored up waiting for tourists to explore the waters. Given more time I’d have enjoyed a trip myself and as I’d paid the fee for the Langue de Barbarie National Park (the Zebra Bar lies within it) I fully intended returning, that is until given the news by the Embassy in Dakar.

The beach here is idyllic.

One of the colorful pirogue boats.

As I had no idea what hoops I’d have to jump through to sort out my missing passport, I set off the next morning for Dakar. I decided to try save mileage by riding down the beach as much as possible and It was an amazing ride, each time I approached a group of birds they’d rise into the air – a wonderful sight. I saw many fish eagles, a memorable tick to my list of birds spotted.

Along the coastal beach heading to Dakar.

Dakar is a huge city and it took me some time to get my bearings. The rough guide map really was of no use at all, so I ended up riding round for quite a while trying to build up a mental map – not a good idea given my memory! The sun was high in the sky making photography difficult, but it was good to stop and take a breather in the heat occasionally as the temperature hovered around 32 degrees.

The beach (and impressive mosque?) as I approached Dakar.

Immediately noticeable on entering the city was the smell (and taste) of diesel. It’s quite suffocating and for the very first time I wished I had a face mask as the pollution is hard on the lungs. I had seen the haze as I’d approached Dakar but not twigged this was pollution and not the heat haze. When you see the condition of most of the buses and the stuff they belch out, you begin to understand the problem.

The colorful local transport, Dakar

Many of the taxis, cars and in particular buses I saw were in a pretty bad way, their is obviously no MOT here!

This local bus has seen better days, Dakar.

As I cycled on, dominating the western skyline was the €20 million monument commissioned by President Abdoulaye Wade: Father, Mother and Son (papp, yaay, doom) and you can’t help but be impressed, although speaking with a local about it later apparently the majority of Senegalese believe it is money wasted.

Father, Mother and Child monument, Dakar.

Update:

I have tried unsuccessfully to sort out the passport and visa problems here in Dakar, an expensive mistake in both time and funds. However I’m now left with a emergency passport that doesn’t allow me to re-trace my steps, so I’m looking at other options. Flying is not one of them unless I abandon my trip, but thanks for your suggestions.

I will try to log on when I can.

 

4 Comments
Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 9:30 am

Good luck Derek, glad you got to the Zebrabar I loved it there.

Andrew
Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 9:44 am

Derek,
And other Christian believers reading,
We can hall PRAY that God will remedy this setback and provide a bountiful solution.
Come on, guys hand gals, do it now whilst you have just read about it!
To God be the glory, Derek!
Andrew

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 10:36 am

Hi Derek,
Excellent photos of Zebrabar and its surroundings: does justice to the place!
Wish that you sort out all “administrative” problems and continue your journey through Africa.

PS: find some Senegal photos in my name’s link. Nice memories 🙂

Happy and Safe Travels,
Luis

Jean Glynn
Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 11:57 am

Hi Derek you are in our thoughts and hope you can keep safe and well. the passport is a worry hope you are sorted with that now and can continue with your travels. love the photos. take care of yourself. love from us here in Morley…Jean xx

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