Dear father its been a long time since my last confession...LOL
(Jelly has asked me to say its in no order at all, chronologically speaking)
My Dad and Uncle are both complaining that I've not blogged at all for a long time (March!). I have an excuse. Its because for a reason I do not understand at all? This is that Weebly block many countries in Africa, Weebly are my web host for both my Free Blog and my Business site (which I pay for!). They will not tell me which countries they block. This means that I cannot update the blog unless I VPN past the block and also people cannot read my blog from those countries. Weebly inexplicably do this for security!? So their platform is so unsecured that they don't allow Nigerians, for example, to use their system in any way? This is all I can conclude. Indeed I cannot log in from Nigeria to update my blog or many other African countries. So there you have the excuse. Its a good one I hope you agree.
The last time I blogged I posted some pics of the border crossings taken on the Dash-cam. Then "Houston we have a problem" as my Dash-cam stopped working so the plan to document all the borders was over. Indeed they do get easier and there is a lot less hassle in the ones after my last but it would have still been nice to do that for everyone. So another excuse.
After leaving friends in Senegal and meeting some new ones on the way we've made quite a few stops as its now 287 days since we left home. Many things have of course happened since that and we've had Hospital stays and some stuff....so here goes.
Senegal was uneventful but there is a lot of football happening there. You cannot drive anywhere without seeing a game in progress and people training. Jelly mentioned some statistic about the number of Senegal players around the world. Its a lot! No doubt a good way for some quite poor kids to make fame and fortune. Not being a football fanatic I cannot recall the statistics. We didn't lose the Senegal flag quite then but the children do like to steal them from the car. That was later in Ghana where the little sods took three of them. A major exercise involving payment of other children who then returned all but one flag. All of course in a sorry state as once peeled they are distorted and almost unusable. What they think when they do this is anyone's guess but what i can tell you is they are not cheap to replace even to me and i make them. We now have an expensive plan to relocate all the flags to higher ground.
Making visas on the road is not an easy task and the west side of Africa is expensive for visas for all Nationalities including the the English/British/UK Citizens. I'm not sure what we are. Its says British on my passport but that does that make someone from Northern Ireland? What does it say on their passport? You tell me. Anyhow, we think we've spent well over €1000 on visas so far. Exact figure will come when Jelly does the accounts.
If you ever see one of these chocolate bars. Don't buy one. Terrible, Distgusting and just inedible. Yes i did struggle through but save your money.
I don't think I've posted this elsewhere in Mauritania escorted by Stephen and TrailPunks we went to the Ben Amera Monolith. Its the second biggest, arn't they always. So some photos of that. A couple of nights there the way in and out has kilometers of very deep sand. It was a nightmare for me. Its about 40c and second gear low range driving with high engine temps and constant beeping from my engine management system. I got stuck twice. I wasn't the only vehicle to get stuck. Even the Toyota's do....
The Gambia was like little Britain and everything was available. Products from home and food from home. It was amazing. If you want a week on holiday in Africa and you are British this is a nice place to go. There's not too much to do but its a beach and bar place. Its OK if you are of a certain age and want to go somewhere. Its not particularly for the young if you know what i'm saying. There's a lot of single white women with young black men. You even get Bacon.
I've also eaten some very strange food. Very strange indeed with some strange flavours i'm not sure if it was flavouring or bacteria and virus. I then got Typhoid.
When you get Dengue and Typhoid you end up in Hospital....Not a great Hospital as the Doctor never heard of Dengue and everything in Africa is Malaria. Even if you have Kidney Stones....its Malaria. Lots of deaths because they just say its Malaria. My medical report said I had Sepsis!?
Some of the illness took place in at a beach resort as I needed a room, so to speak. Three weeks of boredom.
I wonder what that pill was....(spot the pill)
Some of the food we buy leaves a little to be desired....cockroach rice anyone?
We took the Tropic of cancer in our stride an did a little something for prostrate cancer in the form of a wee.
The crossing from Nigeria to Cameroon was, shall we say, eventful. It involved a few hours waiting to cross a river and a few hours waiting for the mud to slightly dry. It was, in my opinion, impossible to drive. The 6x6 pingauzers thought the same and all stopped where they were. Luckily the intrepid first one took us under his wing so to speak and helped us through the really bad section. They re-made part of the road and scraped off about 100 meters of wet mud from the tops of the track. This enabled just enough traction to get up the hill. Unfortunately in all the stress and panic we did not start the Go-pro. Damn!
When the mud ends the dust starts....
There are also to massive potholes
Once of the wild campsite in Angola comes complete with its own ship graveyard. Some you can get on as they are on the beach (mostly).
Maintenance and oil changes and all sorts of repairs are needed on the road. Top tip is glue. Lots of different glues. Tapes. Screws bolts and rivets. All make for a simple same day repair. No hunting local shops for stuff. We even need the odd car wash. It always nice to have a sand free, wind free, sun free parking area to do maintenance. Preferably flat and concrete.
This has so far taken 6 hours to post so here are some random photos that were in my list to talk about.
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