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Mali - Gambia - Senegal - Mauritania - Morocco - France - Switzerland
After a couple of days at Arcachon with Brigitte et Denis, we are coming back to Paris.
You can't beat picnicking boat to boat with your friends in the bay d'Arcachon!
Because Lorraine cannot leave the french territory while processing her french paperwork, we skipped Giorgio in Switzerland and went to my second family at Pelonier in Dordogne.
Harvesting tabacco plants and hanging them to dry at the farm Pelonier, Dordogne.
We are travelling in France by train starting by Normandie from where, I had a great pleasure visiting my daughter Eve and Peter in Jersey. I love you Eve.
We spend a great couple of days at Gary's farm on Utah beach in Normandie.
Why go to Paris ?
We arrived at Bamako, Capital of Mali. We are in the center of the city in a Mission called "Le Foyer des Soeurs de Bamako."
PS: I am 100% hives free !!!
We are in Mali, the border was no problem. We slept at Kayes and we are on our way to Bamako.
Today, we go back on the road direction Mali.
I am still improving, my hands are in very good shape, I just have right foot and my left front arm that are swollen and itching.
Today we went to our first African National Park "Niokolo Koba". There are lions, elephant, hipopotamus but we saw none of these and the only panther we saw was in a huge cage design by Brigitte Bardot... 15 years ago !!!
IT WORKS !!! Dr. Sogo and his French team from Nancy had it right, I had an allergia that created a urticaria (or hives) reaction. The pill they gave me already had an effect last night and this morning it's even better. It's not yet over but it's all coming back in order. Thank you for your concern on the guestbook and the emails you send me.
Even so this morning my scalp was less swollen, my right foot was more, and my right thumb had a huge hematoma, and other parts of my body like the inner knees were itching a lot.
I was able to see Dr. Sogo, who was very reassuring saying I had an allergia that created the urticaria over my body. He gave me pills that should start to make effect as soon as tomorrow morning.
Dr.Sogo Milogo and his team from Nancy, France verdict:
it's an allergy that developed an urticaria crisis in my body !!!
The good news of the day: we passed the Gambia/Senegal border with a 10 days pass to get to Mali
The bad news of the day: The itching, swarming,numbness and swollen is now on half of my scalp starting this morning. If sometimes my hands improve, at the end of the day, they are very very itchy and swarming. My feet are itching too but not swollen and i can retain myself from scratching them !!!
Tomorrow, I will go see an other doctor.
We arrived at Basse Santa Su, 15 miles away from Sabi, the Gambia/Senegal border we want to pass tomorrow morning. We expect to have a pass of 48 or 72 hours to get to Mali.
the swallen on the left hand diminished but not that much on the right hand. I wore gloves to drive today, it was sure helping but this afternoon with the heat, the itching is not improving at all.
Riding the East side of Gambia.
This morning I have less itching on the skin but when I press the flesh, the sensation of swarming and burning remain the same and the swollen did not regress yet.
We slept in the field last night on our way to Farafenni.
Since yesterday, my hands are swollen, and it went to worst during the night with severe itching. This morning my hand are even more swollen, I put some kind of gel Jean-Louis had with him and i will see how it evolve.
I have no idea what kind of animal would have bite me ?
I went to the hospital and the girl told me it was either a snake, a scorpion or too much riding the motorcycle !!!
The snakes and scorpion are immediately dismissed because I have the same reaction on both hands and i never felt being bitten. As for the too much riding motorcycle, I let you be the judge !!!
I take antibiotic and pain and itch reliever.
We are leaving the Atlantic coast to ride Est toward Sabi.
Last Sunday, we passed the border Senegal/Gambia with no problem. We went south down to Kartong on the touristic Atlantic coast but nobody is here at the begining of the rainy season. Gambian people are very jovial and friendly. They will ask you "where you came from?" and the next question is "what is your name?".
We intend to go at the South East border of Gambia/Senegal and go to Mali either in 2 or 3 days depending on what we will get at the Senegalese border for our sidecars.
Gambia is the smallest country of Africa with a population of 1.5 million people, and has the hisgest density.
We are 15 miles away from the Senegal/Gambia border that we have to cross before tomorrow night. Not a problem.
After sleeping in front of the custom office at the Mauritania/Senegal border, we got a 3 days transit pass to cross Senegal and go from Mauritania to Gambia. We have to out of Senegal by Sunday midnight. Senegal is very beautiful and people are very interesting.
Getting only a 2 days pass for the sidecar yesterday at the border we are dealing with the reality of the difficulty to travel with a foreign vehicule in Senegal. We are getting back at the border tonight and will either get a transit pass for Gambia or we will return in Mauritania to go directly to Mali.
Thank you very much Maloun (left), the owner of the Auberge Menata,
who did not wanted to let us go without eating a delicious Mauritanian mechui..
We are done resting and should be back on the road going to Senegal (120 miles away) within a couple of days.
By now, we are not recuperating, we just resting and it feels good !
We are still in Nouakchott at the Auberge Menata taking it easy.
We have good company, with a Carlito and Carlita, a bicyclist couple from France travelling to South America, Jeannot, a French a great young man selling graines, Djibril from Switzerland buying fishes... and many others
Tonight, Olivier, who invited us for the thiboudienne a couple of weeks ago, came to have dinner at the Auberge with us, we will cook a fish pot!!!
The night we arrived in Nouakchott I got sick with a mixt of diarea and fever, I was so glad it did not happened in the furnace and after a couple of days, I was back to normal !!!
I put online the first photo story online and will do a video and others photos stories soon.
We left the infernal furnace (115ºF) of the Adrar region in the Mauritanian Sahara to come back at sea level at Nouakchott were the temperature is more in the 80s at the pick of the day. We will stay there a few days to recuperate.
We have a lot of photographs and videos from the camel ride to put together.
We had the camel ride all planed from Chinguetti to Terjit, 90 miles in 8 days under 115ºF. Salima was our guide with his 3 camels to carry food, water, material and me (Jean-Louis likes to walk like the nomades). It was a fantastic ride, full of authenticity, but things does not always happens as planed !!!
We are back in Atar with our sidecars where we will take a few days to recuperate.
6:00 am: we are on our way !!!
This is it, Lorraine just left New York for good, with the help of Jessica, they are on their way to France where Lorraine will settled at Gary's farm in Normandie. Lorrane and Gary were professionals danser together and Gary came to join us at the Paradis Latin.
As for us, we will leave early tomorrow morning at the first prayer going to the Adrar region see if we find a camel caravane !!!
Be aware that we may not find a camel with WIFI, so, no news will be good news, no matter how long it will take !!!
If somebody tell you, "I will see you Sunday", you have to clarify which day of the week he means when he say Sunday !!!
- Friday is "Prayer day", everything is closed and it's the Mauritanian Sunday
- Saturday is the second day of the weekend so it's like our sunday
- Sunday, everything is open, but it's still a sunday.
Since we arrived in Nouakchott a week ago, we did the maintenance of our sidecars, we extended the paper work for our sidecar at the custom office, we went to the Departement of Security to understand the were we can travel safely in Mauritania, and we are still working to get an autorisation to photograph. We went for that from the Tourism Office to the Department of Communication to the Department of Commerce, Industry, Artisanat and Tourism were finally things are happening.
We should get our official authorisation to take photograph in Mauritania as soon as Sunday and we will go to the Adrar region to see if we can find a camel ride in the Sahara desert !
After recuperatind a few days from Banc d'Arguin, we are now resting at Auberge Menata of Nouackchott !!!
We ride the "Banc d'Arguin" of Mauritania.
For us it was 200 miles of sand, going from fishing village to fishing village.
We used our sand tracks over 50 times. It took us from 8am to 8pm to pass most of the 8 miles of dune "Thila" !!!
We arrived tonight at Nouakchott, there will be many stories to come on this ride!
It was nice to get help when we got sanded in the villages, but in between, we were on our own !!!
As soon as we entered Mauritania, we knew we were in Africa and everything is different from Morocco. Tomorrow, we go to Nouakchott to the departement of tourism get an authorisation to take photograph as we go.
In Mauritania, there is sand everywhere and you don't need too much to be sanded!
We entered Mauritania by Nouadhibou, the border was no problem.
The first miles in a new country always impacts me, obviously, here it will be the sand!
We are on the road and should be at the Mauritanian border tomorrow.