Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Senegal 3

In the house in Youmboul the people live on the first floor, the sheep-
on the second and we put our tent on the roof, where the sheep
go walking in the day.

With a bit of sorrow and a lot of pictures we left the kind family of Fatou and Chech and we hit the road again. We have been living for almost 2 weeks on the roof of their home in Youmbul. The last evening we cooked some Bulgarian dishes (stuffed peppers and stuffed cabbage leaves). The maid even cried when we were leaving.

with Fatou's family

New Year's place
In Dakar we got picked by three cool Senegalese guys, with whom we had lots of fun while we were stuck in the traffic jam on the way out of the city. These were one of the few Senegalese that have traveled and were truly happy about our journey and understood our passion to travel. From the driver we learned a Senegalese saying “If you can’t go where you are going to, go where you came from.” They dropped us in Thies, a place that was not exactly on our way, but because of the good time we had with them we decided to take that detour. On the next day we reached Koalak - the dirtiest city in Senegal and we camped there because of the Internet and the need to recharge. On the 31.12 we were on the road again without any idea where we were going to celebrate New Year’s Eve. We had almost lost hope in waiting on the lonely and dusty road when we were picked up by a Senegalese car up to Tambakunda - 280 km east. We asked them do leave us 20 kilometers before the city in the woods, where we could camp. We pitched the tent under a baobab tree and made a humble New Year’s Eve dinner on the grass. That’s how we welcomed the new 2011- under the sky filled with stars and the sound of the wild animals all around us (hyenas, night birds and lizards).

On 1.1.2011 we were on the road again. The hitchhiking was becoming harder and harder and the road- more and more deserted. For the day we managed to cross only the 20 kilometers to Tambakunda. There we camped again in the forest near the road. On the next day we stopped a firefighter truck and even a bus that took us for the next village 7 km for free. After that we were picked up by a pick-up truck with two Frenchm and one German guys- in the back of the car where there was a bench for safaris for another 10 km. We were traveling very slowly and the 220 km to Kedingu seemed a lot. On the road we saw only bicycles, people on foot and on donkeys. Most of them stopped by to greet us and some just stared at us for hours without saying a word. From time to time there was a crowd gathered around us. They were very patient and it seemed they had lots of free time too. Sometimes we would lose our patience and walk for 200-300 meters to get away from the crowd. Hitchhiking with a crowd around you is not easy. While we were waiting we met a group of bicyclists from Australia, who were riding the route Spain-Morocco-Senegal and were going to Ghana. We exchanged e-mails and we hope to meet them again on the road.

the road was so empty that we played cards directly on the asphalt :)
hitching with the locals
On the next day after a couple of hours of waiting again the same pick-up truck with the two Frenchm and one German stopped. They laughed at the chance to meet us again and offered us to spend the day with them – at first in Kadingu, then in the villages around it and at the end to camp near the highest waterfall in Senegal (80 m). We jumped in the back and that was how one of the best hitches we had so far started. We met the four Australians underway and greeted them. We had a beautiful day in the hills near Kedigu in a village called Angel, huddled up in the hills. The people there are Christians that ran away up there during the Muslim- Christian wars and now lived in total isolation from the world. The women had lots of earrings on their ears and nose and some were walking around half-naked. Most of the kids had umbilical hernia, but were absolutely charming. The mountains were quite small (600-700 m above sea level), but were the only mountains in Senegal.

the church

After the long day we were rewarded with a camping in a traditional straw hut, French sparkling wine and pasties. The driver of the pick-up truck- Patrice insisted upon paying for the camping and all the costs on the way. They were very kind with us and on the next day we continued travelling with them to the biggest national park Nikolo Koba. It was impossible to go there without a car and a guide, so this was a great chance for us. The park was huge and wild, nothing in common with Bandia. 

under the waterfall

the insolent babuin
It was hard find the animals in the great savannah and we managed to catch a glimpse of them from afar, but it was very beautiful and intact. We did not see a lion, but we saw a black mamba, which was not easy. We camped in the national park. In the morning just when we were packing our backpacks we got a visit from a big baboon that started to search through our luggage really humanly. We tried to hush him away, but he would just stop and cast an evil look at us and then would go on rummaging. After that he went inside the tent looking around and wondering what to take. We got scared that he might choose the camera or something valuable, but luckily he picked the garbage bag and ran away. After some time he came back, but we had already closed our backpacks and we guarded them. It seems he was the local tourist baboon, for he had a marking on his neck. The other baboons were not so bold. 
"green monkey" and the naughty babuin
We had another trip around the park and drove back to Tambakunda on the outside of the Toyota. From where we planned to go on hitchhiking to Mali. We stayed in Tambkunda to eat and we met a blonde rastaman – Michael, a German, that was traveling with his 4x4 for Aids (Lands Aid). He said that he was going to Togo and and he could take us with him to Mali. So we said good-bye to Senegal and set off for Bamako. 

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