Yes I am, cycling to Cape Town

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Hola !

Ja ja, in Spain I am !
But not without loosing some sweat ...

The first 2 days out of Foix were tough, very tough. Cycling one, two or three cols a day ...
Almost no wind, temperatures around 30 degrees.
So yeah, I sweat a lot !
But it was nice as well, riding through pristine forests ! ( I do not know what it means, pristine, but it just sounds so nice don´t you think ? )

I road the first day only 80 km, the second something like 67 , tired as I was.
So I decided not to ride straight through Parc Nacional D´Aiguestortes in Spain. which is forbidden by the way and very hard to cycle or even walk but to go for the easy way ... The new tunnel just south of Vielha, 5 km long. In this small town I asked several people if it was allowe to cycle en they thought so.
Arriving at the beginning of the tunnel I was stopped by some tunnel guard. He asked me several things like do I have light, a safety jacket, a helmet. The only thing I had was a small head light so he said very firm : then you are not allowed to cycle, and where is your helmet ? I said that a helmet do not fit wit a cowboy hat and I like my hat for blocking the sun.
But he wouldn´t let me cycle, I hat to go with a car. Okay I said after several minutes of discussing, I will take the car. ( the had a yellow special tunnel car, even with a trailor behind it for my bicycle ! So I smuggled the first 5 km ´s ...
And because I rode yesterday and the day before not so much km´s I decided to ride a hundred today, like normal.
It all was fine and at km 95 I rode along this nice river andw many, many perfect campsites ...
But no, I had to ride another 5 and then make camp.
At km 97 the road bend to the right and what I saw didn´t make me happy ...
A long uphill road ... with a sign : next 3 km 9 % up ....
O hell no ....
9 % , in this heat ( over 30 degrees ) with no wind ...
Doing 6 km an hour would mean another half hour on the bike, in heavy conditions.
After 500 meters I was sweating like an otter and had to stop.
O men, why am I doing this ? Shouldn´t I just go back to these nice campsites at the river ???
But going back is, I do not know, I ( and many cyclists I think ) realy hate to do this, not an option.
So I road on, and on, and on ....
Finally, a 100 km I did, but still no camp possibilities on this still climbing road ...
But what is that down there ? Yeah, I saw a place to pitch my tent, thank God !

Happy but very tired I made camp, washed myself and drank a very well deserved beer !

Cheers !

Ps I now am in Huesca and it is still hot ;-)
Hola Lars!
Heerlijk warm in Spanje is het :D Hier regent het...vrijdag kom ik jouw kant op. Ik vlieg op Malaga en ga een rondje Andalusie doen. Wie weet, kom ik je zomaar tegen???
Hasta luego,
Anneke
Buen viaje en tu Vuelta de España... :D
Lekker weertje zo te lezen.. Zolang het water onderweg maar redelijk doorzichtig is, kun je wel verder..!
Hi Lars
Veel plezier. Ik geniet weer van je verhalen.
Pristine Forest. Zoiets als Garden of Eden, beiden paradijselijk.
Geniet ervan ;-)
Groetjes
Gudy
Hola !

I am writing this email from one of the most beautifull plaza´s in Spain, Plaza Mayor in Salamanca.
Absolutely beautiful, as are the girls ;-)
Salamanca is gorgeous, a city to remember and to go back one day.

But let´s start at the beginning :

When I left Huesca, the second day it rained every now and then and when I wanted to cycle out of this little town at 1600 hours the sky was not grey, no, it was almost black. So I hesitated a little, turned around because suddenly I realized I needed water to camp somewhere. 5 minutes later it started to rain so I dressed in rainclothes. It started to rain real heavy and when I rode out of this little village I saw the road going up, up and more up .... Oh no .... Climbing mountains in rain, never ! So I turned for the second time, looking for a hostal or something and within a minute I found a casa rural, a sort of bread and breakfast. A very nice room, bath, tv and only 28 euro´s ! So this time I was a little more clever and didn´t cycle further ;-)

September is great to cycle in France and Spain, all the fruit I eat for nothing !
Grapes, figs ( kilo´s of them ), pears, prunes, apples, peches, it all growes here and my bags are quickly filled with it ;-)

One day I met this men when I filled up my water bottles.
He asked me something in spanish but I said I only speak a little spanish.
Then he tried it in english : ´are you eat ? ´
Ehhh, que ?
´Are you eat ´ he asks again.
I tried : ´ yeah, I eat 3 baquettes a day ´
But then he went to his car and came back with a can of beans and gave it to me.
So I thanked him a lot and thought : he meant do you want to eat, hahaha.
So I showed him my macaroni and a can of meat and said I would have a great dinner with the beans as well !

The last 3 day´s on my way to Salamanca I went fast, doing over a 120 km a day, one day even almost 140. It was easy, almost no wind and almost flat roads.
Me kicking the pedals ;-)

Tomorrow I go south, on my way to Trujillo, Cordoba and Sevilla.
Kicking some more ...

Hasta luego !
Hola !

That night I sat in front of my tent and I saw an animal, maybe a 100 meters away from me.
First I thought it was a big dog but when I looked closer I saw it was a lion !
O boy ...
The animal then stood up and came waking towards me.
I grabbed my stick but then decided that was maybe not such a good idea so I decided to climb on top of the roof ( there was a house ).
Sitting on top of the roof I was hoping the lion couldn´t jump that high !
Piep, piep, pieeeep !
0624 hours
My alarm clock ...
Pfieuwww, it was just a good dream ;-)

And I dream a lot these last few weeks, my favorite is the one in which I can actually fly through willpower and willpower only.
I really have to concentrate and only think I can do it, just fly.
In the beginning, many years ago, I could only fly for a couple of meters, then my concentration decreased and I fall down no matter how hard I tried to keep on flying. Flying over houses, very high trees just feels great !
Nowadays I can fly better and better but it still is strange, as if I am not in my body or ... hard to explain ....
If anybody else once or more often has had these dreams, tell me please ?
Or if you can tell me what it means, if it means anything ...

Okay, back to the ground, to the road ;-)

I am now in Seville.
I stayed only half a day in Cordoba because the camping was extraordinary high, 21 euro´s !!!
So I slept only one night there and did some sightseeing in town, which was great.
As told more often, I really love spanish cities, the lovely buildings, plaza´s, people living, sitting, drinking, eating, flaunting on the street, just great !

Seville is even more nice in my eyes and I even haven´t seen it all, when I finish this mail I go wander around, look at all the beautiful, eat some tapa´s, drink a beer ...

Tomorrow I will leave for Algeciras and the ferry to Morocco :-)

Looking forward to Morocco again and the sahara crossing into Mauritania.

Hasta luego !
Ha Lars ,niet om het een of ander ,maar wat voor paddoos gooi jij s avonds bij het eten door je pasta ?? 8) 8) ik schrik me rot met die leeuwen :lol: :lol: later, en een mooie tocht rene.
Hahaha je wilt niet weten wat voor rare dromen ik heb rene, deze viel nog in de eerste categorie. En ik slik nog niet eens lariam !

Merhaba !

Leaving Spain I was thinking that there were really a lot of roundabouts in this country, I love them but sometimes there are just too many ... Like when there are no other turns then straight ahead hahaha, really, in Spain I saw !

So that night I slept .... at a roundabout !
I was looking for a place to camp in the bushes or something but there was just nothing ( good )
So I decided to go for the camping in this town, ehhh, Arcos de la frontiere it was called I believe.
Or something like that ...
When I entered town I asked a man who just came out of his house where the camping was.
No camping anymore he said.
Oh no, cycling a good 100 + kilometers those are things you do not want to hear ...
I was thinking and suddenly saw these trees in front of his house, just outside the gate, nice flat land.
So I asked him if I could place my tent there just for the night, which was good.
Also asked if it was safe and he agreed again.
Perfect !
And a beautiful roundabout just in front of my tent ! ( later police come for some traffic control but they didn't even look at me )

Next day I visited Gibraltar, a big rock separated by land by an ....
airstrip !
Cycled all the way to the end and there it was ....
Africa !
It was a special moment to leave Europe behind, special in good and some sad way's ....

But first I had to cycle back to Algeciras.

24 euro and an hour on the ferry brought me in Ceuta, a little Spain in Morocco.

Through the customs and turn right, up into the mountains !
A very, very hard climb up for too many kilometers followed ... Hot is was too, sweating a lot !
High up in these mountains I found a great spot for my tent, on the top of a mountain, nice vieuws !
In the middle of the night I could enjoy some more of the scenery, I had to get out of my tent because it almost blew away !
In my underwear I had to hammer a few more pegs into the ground.

Cycling through beatiful mountains I saw a sign for Fes, 234 km.
That day I cycled 60 km so I thought, okay, 2 1/2 day to Fes, great !
I made a (hard) hundred that day so only 2 more days to go.
Next day cycling was very hard again and suddenly I saw a sign, Fes 190 km.
Checking my computer it should be a 180 km.
Shit, 10 km more.
Okay, I cycle today 105 km and tomorrow 105 km again.
But, later that day it grew even worse, another sign told me it was suddenly 20 km's more ...
Grrr , okay, I will try to cycle 110 and so I did.

Next day the story repeated itself; a sign was telling me 150 km to Fes where it should be 120.
O boy no !!!
What is this ?
For the third time I accepted ( had to didn't I ? ) but it was not the last time ...
Can you believe that another sign told me it was another 10 km more, so 40 km's more than at day 1 !!!

I threw out a few good dutch swears but that didn't help either ...

Later that day I arrived in Fes, the last sign's were lying.
I only cycled 104 km in stead of 120 or 130.

So, never ever trust moroccan roadsigns ! ( it was actually quite funny to read them, one sign says 93 km, 2 km's futher it suddenly is 115 or something like that ;-)

Fes

Fes is a nice town, lots of things to see and lots of clothes I washed.
People are very friendly, I am having a good time !

Tomorrow I will cycle to Rabat, have to arrange my visa for Mauritania there.

Greetings !
Ha, Lars.

Wat heb jij een heerlijk leven zeg :roll: .

Hoop dat je reis door afrika net zo goed gaat als door europa.

Groet van Mario
Salaam !

Rockin' through Madness, ehh, Meknes I was the other day, coming from Fes and going to Rabat.
In Fes I had a day's rest so I wouldn't want to stop in Meknes so I rode through town with my mp3 player, listening to good music and singing out loud :-)

The second night I had a great campsite in a forest, just outside Rabat.
Nobody saw me pitching my tent but when I was cooking my meal a man walked towards me.
That really happens almost all the time, when you think you are on a spot where nobody comes you are sitting in your tent and suddenly, out of nothing a how you say that, a man who walks with the sheep ...
Hahaha I am kidding you, a shepherd I mean. Anyway, the shepherds always find you it seems but it is never a problem, they are always very friendly.

In Rabat I took care of my mauritanian visum, actually, the embassy did.
I went monday morning and at 1400 hours I could pick it up, great !

In the meantime, me and Charles, a french guy who is cycling almost exact the same route as I took out our maps of middle Africa and did some planning, laughing, crying.
South of Yaounde we will hit rainseason and we will hit it hard ...
And Charles told me about this weblog he has seen of this guy who did the same route. That guy said it was by far the most horrific route he ever rode on his bicycle. Dirt roads turning into mudfields after some rain .... Even cars were unable to move either for or backward ...
Like I said, we had some good laughs about raindrops as big as grapes and mudroads 1 meter high ...
But it is still far away and we discussed some options being : take a train ( if there is one riding ) or go over the river wit a boat. Maybe go into Angola but that's almost impossible visa technical.
But it was good discussing it ...

I am now in Essaouira ( from Rabat I took the bus for 200 km for several reasons, a very busy road to Casablanca, the ride through busy Casablanca is not nice, the headwind and rain that day weren't nice as well and this way I like to try to catch up with Charles who is taking a bus to Agadir and even some futher.
Charles was leaving Rabat a few day's after me so maybe we can cycle together into Mauritania, should be nice !

The weather is good and so am I :-)

Adios !
Hoi Lars,
Wat leuk om je verhalen te lezen. Vergeet Ghana alsjeblieft niet. Is erg mooi daar.
Rutger
Sorry Rutger, Ghana has to wait for another ride.
I am planning to cycle Mauri, Mali and Burkina Faso.
Niger, Nigeria and then turn left ;-)

Salaam !

Last ten days 10 cycled 1134 km; now I aml enjoying a wel deserved resting day in Laayoune which is pretty a big town but not pretty.
The hotel is though, a little expensive but with a shower and a nice room.
Which I share with Maarten ;-)

I met Maarten on the road just outside of Tan Tan.
It had to be that way because it was a little rainy and I stopped twice to wait.
Then I decided to cycle in rain, wore my rainjacket and left town.
Just outside town it was dry again ( remember I am entering the Sahara so the rain was quite unexpected ... ) so I stopped to get out of my raincoat.
And Maarten rode along.
So we decided we ride together which is pretty good.
Love to talk dutch again ;-)

First night we had a great campsite at the ocean seeing a good sunset.

Now we are in Laayoune, firts I was a little worried that I had not so much to tell but I had to dry my tent.
Maarten did it on the roof but that was 6 stories high so I told him I do it outside on the pavement.
Shouldn't have done that ...
I was unpacking my tent and a couple of schoolgirls asked me what I was doing.
I told them I was going to camp here ;-)
No, no they said , that is not possible.
I said, well ofcourse; I do that all the time !
Now this was a very busy street so it was a little strange I would want to camp here in the first place ...

2 minutes later my tent stood, drying in the sun.
A car showed up and I told the two gentlemen the same story / joke.
Then the man said may I see your passport; I am a police officer.
I said what for officer. I am only drying my tent !
And I told him about camping here was a joke.
But hell broke loose ( no humor that man ) and he was making one phonecall after the other.

In the meantime my tent was dry and packed again so I asked my copy passport back; I wanted to leave.
No way ...
He told me again he was police ( ofcourse a very important man puke puke ) and I had to wait/
Now it was really hot in the sun and I was thirsty so I asked if I could wait at the teahouse while he was doing his quite important research.
First time I asked it was not okay but after complaining I was thirsty I was allowed to sit in the cafe, with his bodyguard next to me.
Asking where I came from; where I was going to, what my profession was ...
I told them everything and I mentioned Maarten.
Then the officer said he wanted to see Maarten's passport as weel, as well as my original passport.
I walked to my room; told Maarten I was arrested which wasn't so, I asked it the policeman's bodyguard but he said I was not arrested. I said him; well, I am not free am I but he said I was.
Afin, Maarten and me showed them our passports and everything was fine after all ...

Thank God for those guy's otherwise this mail was so short ...

Because what can I say about riding here ?
It is endless hamada, stony desert.
Every now and then a little shop or some houses ( maybe two times a day) and then nothing again.
But it is good we are doing it; Mauritanie is getting closer and closer.
The sun is shining and the wind is in our back ;-)

So now we will cycle in 5 day's to Dakhla ( 575 km ) which will be a piece of cake.

Spoken of cake; I am hungry again and outta here, getting me some !

Greetings !
Gelukkig heb je gezelschap op dit saaie stuk. Leuk dat je andere fietsers tegenkomt.

West Afrika… mannetjes die even hun (ietsiepietsie) gezag willen laten voelen. Het is een spel van niet teveel onder de indruk zijn en ze geen gezichtsverlies (tegenover elkaar) te laten hebben. Zijn er nog steeds zoveel police checkposten op de wegen? Ik negeerde ze, wilden zij mijn bagage controleren door alles eruit te halen, dan schreef ik wel in mijn dagboek of bestudeerde een reisgids, alsof ik die tijd heel goed kon gebruiken en ik wierp geen blik op ze. Als ze geen indruk maken en geen geld kunnen verwachten om het sneller te laten verlopen, is het snel over.

Burkino Faso, ik ben op klaarlichte dag, in Ouagadougou op een niet drukke maar ook niet te rustige straat door mannen met mes beroofd. Kwam daar heel veel voor hoorde ik van de ambassade.

En Mali, heb je het in september gewijzigde reisadvies gelezen? En Nigeria… ik ben er voor gestopt (mijn route liep ook door Zaïre waar de oorlog toen juist uitbrak) verschillende mensen die doorgingen kwamen beroofd uit Nigeria terug.

Je weet dit vast al allemaal, ik zal blij zijn als je dat gebied weer uit bent.

Kom je ook veel reizigers tegen?
fiets-ster schreef: Je weet dit vast al allemaal, ik zal blij zijn als je dat gebied weer uit bent.
Over een jaar hoop ik iets vergelijkbaars te doen, maar heb besloten om de komende 11 manden niks te plannen, het is tegen die tijd toch heel anders in Afrika :lol:

Dat vind ik dan toch het aantrekkings kracht van Afrika, voorlopig geen package tourists, en weinig LP touristen, alleen af en toe een fietser en een paar overlanders.....

Maar je heb gelijk, het tactiek met de politie is gewoon laten zien dat jij de tourist ben die wel alle tijd heeft en geen geld......

Shane cycles africa D-350
Salaam !

With all the checkpoints we, Maarten and me, we changed jobs.
Maarten is in real life fotographer but with the almost paranoid police here ( fotograph ? what do you fotograph ? newspaper ? and you hear them thinking, o boy, a fotographer ... ) Maarten is now a low risk computer analizer.
I used to fill in writer as a job, nice short and easier to explain then employee in the harbour.
Writer ? What do you write ? Not about us huh you hear them think or in a newspaper, even worse !
So I decided to become a ...

Clown !

Hahaha, fun starts when we enter a checkpoint now.
And when they ask our jobs when it is my turn we must try not to laugh ...
Clown ? What's that ?
We tried to explain the circus but without result.
Maybe I have to buy a red nose haha.
But comedian they know as a job and is accepted.

We are now in Dakhla.
Lonely Planet wrote : Marrakesh is for tourists, Dakhla for travellers.
And we believe that.
To come here, cycling through the western Sahara, an endless road, you do not for fun or for sightseeing.

We travel fast, doing 120 to 150 km a day.
If the wind is good which he, thank God, most of the time is.
Strong too, 5 or 6 bft. Good for doing 30 km an hour !

Tomorrow we will cycle to Nouadibou, 460 km in 4 day's and then we are in Mauritanie !

Looking forward to it !

Greetings from a sunny Sahara
Salaam !

So, where did I leave you ?
I think it was in Dakhla, Morocco.

The 4 cycling day's to Nouiadbou were easy, small apple, small egg as we in good dutch say ;-)
Still a strong wind in the back makes us cycle fast !

Crossing the border with Mauritania wasn't fast ...
Pff those guy's were unorganised, lazy ...
There was a long que before the border and it didn't move so Maarten and I decided to have a seat and watch in the restaurant and ate our last omelette in Morocco.
When we were finished the cars were moving but slow ...
Us, with our bicycles cycled to the front of the que and dealed with the first official, one of many the next two hours ...
Now I am a little daring sometimes so I talked and walked us through, getting in front of lines as everybody seemed to do.
So it only took us two hours, including the 3 km ride through nomansland, trying to avoid landmines in which we succeeded :-)

Speaking of landmines, the day before we camped like 40 km before the border and we saw all day these signs warning for landmines.
But we had to find a place to pitch our tents so we walked carefully to ' the old road ' which was like 10 meters next to the new one; we felt pretty safe those 10 meters and on the old road too, no landmines under a road, right ? ( if you aren't driving in Afganistan, for the matter ... )
We walked down the old road a 100 meters and there the road bent away behind some hills so we were out of sight of the main road.
Always good for camping, the old roads ...

We stayed in Nouidbou for two nights and then left for Nouakchott, another 490 km through endless desert...

At the first checkpont at 106 km from Nouiadbou the police officer asked where we were going to sleep.
I said, well, there should be a sort of a camping 2 km from here but the officer said there wasn't.
So I told him we were cycling another 40 km or so to the next village and he said : okay, but I give them a call to see if you have arrived.
That started me thinking because we weren't going to cycle another 40 km, plan was to do some bush camping not far from here ...
But if the officer wasn't kidding and he did check if we arrived changes were they come looking for us. And with no trees in the Sahara desert were we could hide or some hills it would be impossible to find a place were nobody could see us so after discussing that we decided to ask the officer if we could camp here, at the police post. Checking with his superiour learned that that was okay.
Other nights we camped near some houses, getting some protection from the locals.
Protection from what you migt ask.
Maarten and me asked the same, mostly to ourselves.
Because this road, where not that long ago you must drive in convoy because of bandits or kidnappers or other fellows who weren't nice to you now felt safe. And is safe as I may say so. Friendly people, giving us water. Lots of water, most day's I rode with 13 liters, good for a day and night.

Last night we even camped in the wild, behind some bushes, a 70 km before Nouakchott were we are now.
Yesterday evening we treated ourselves with some good and a lot of chinese food, think we go back toninght ;-) and this morning we had a great buffet breakfast at the most expensive hotel in town. I love to do that and I infected Maarten as well ;-)
Yoghurt, pancakes, scrambled eggs, beans and sausages, fruit, cereals, pastries, toast, fruit, coffee and orang juice ...
Eating for 2 hours is not unusual :-)
And we can do, that is one of the great things of cycling, eat as much as you want and stay thin !

Maarten and me split up tomorrow as I am cycling to Mali andMaaten is going to Senegal.

Speaking of Mali, I gotta run to the embassy to pick up my passport with the visa for Mali !

See ya !
Salaam !

So, I left Maarten behind in Nouckchott, he is going into Senegal and I am going into Mali.
From day one it was tough, many headwinds and I think 250 dunes I climbed, 5 % steep.
Doing each day 110 or 115 km in order to win something on Charlers, who left Nouckchott 2 day's earlier.
I reached Kiffa the 6th day, from there it was a dirtroad south into Mali.
Now, several people had warned me about this road, many sand ...
I thought then, well, I'll see.
And I did ...
First 45 km or so were fine but then the sand came ...
Impossible to bike through so I had to push, pull, sweat, swear and God nows what to get through !
Cycling for 10 meters, walking a 100 ...
Cycling 150 meters, walking 600 ...
One day I ' cycled ' 46 km, toughest day ever ...

People said that when I entered Mali it should be better, no more sand !
It was so difficult, and about 40 km more than on my map ...
Loosing track for 4 times, amazing enough there were people to help me out, there must be a God ;-)
One time when I was lost I asked directions and the man told me to go at the first crossing straight on, the second to the left and the third to the left again. Now, I was cycling through half a meter high grass, a car track barely visable ...
The second crossing I turned left, the track was the same, almost impossible to see, high grass everywhere !
But at the third crossing there was the ' mainroad ' again !
Yahooooo !!!!!
I made it !
Pff, I have to admit I was a little scared to get really lost ....
But then again, the cartrack was there and had to lead to somewhere, right ?

In Mali nature became more and more beautifull, more and different trees as well as my favorite one : The Baobab !
I love this one, they are all different and many are real huge !

Many birds I saw as well and one time monkey's !

Great campsites I had but most of the time I was so tired ....

Now I am in Kayes, Charles should be here as well, I checked a couple of hotels but without luck.
Tomorrow I will cycle to Bamako, where hopefully I can use my mastercardcard to get some money, which was nad still is another adventure ...
( living very cheap though, from Nouckchott to Kayes I spend only 20 euro in 10 day's ! )

I will take the southern route ( via Kifa if I remember good ... )
Dirtroad again but it should be much better then the one which brought me here !

Salut !
Salaam !

A lot have happened and it was a bit stressie ...

I left Kayes to take the southern route via Bafoulabe, on my way to Bamako.
According to my map there should be a ( nice ) road next to the railway.
First 70 km or so were fine, a good wide gravel road.
But when I asked for water and directions ' fun ' started ...
The people directed me futher down this road but then they named a city, looking on my map learned it was the wrong direction for me ( I thought, that time ... ) because it didn't follow the railway.
So I said, no, that is the wrong road, I want to go via this small town, along the railway.
Okay, they said, you have to go back, like 10 km and turn left.
O shit, 10 km I cycled the wrong road which was still very wide and good, perfect gravel ( which should have rang a bell ... )
So I went back and asked directions again.
This time I was send on this goat track, it wasn't a road !
Double checking people told me this was the road along the railway. I said, but this is a small ' road ' and this guy told me, 1 km from here the road gets bigger.
I drove 8 km but it was still a goat track which I wouldn't want to cycle anymore, not after the ' road ' from Kiffa to Kayes, which was so terrible ...
But if I wouldn't want to ride this track I had to turn around again !
Pissed off I was but I turned around, I really wanted a better road than this one.

So 2 hours later I was at the same spot where I asked for water and directions earlier that day ...

I camped in the bush, feeling a bit down ...

Maybe too because I have this problem with using my mastercard.
Because is it of no use in this part of Africa, visa only ...
I didn't do my homework good enough but I never expected something like this, learning all the way right ?
But there should be 1 ATM in Bamako where mastercard should work.

A couple of days later I was in Bamako which is sofar the worst city on earth to ride a bicycle, again, I thought I was quite experienced in India with riding in big cities but here the mopeds are so may, so fast, so dangerous. Passing you left and right, cm's of space in between ...
No fun at all !!!

So I was, am, in Bamako and searched for the one working ATM.
It didn't work ...
Here I was, surviving the last three weeks on 40 USD and still couldn't get money.
Problems, problems and even more problems made me think, not in a good way I have to tell ...
Feeling down, not good ...
All the problems, the heat, busy Africa where I came for, it was, I don't know, I just was having a hard time.
For example, I changed a 100 dollar bill yesterday for 45.000 francs.
Had a good meal and a couple of beers.
Next day I went to the Burkina Faso embassy ( which was also not easy, people pointing me for 10 km the wrong way ... )to get my visa which should cost 28.000 francs.
To be certain I had a little over 40.000 left but here we go again, the visa costed 47.000 francs !

AAAHHHHH !!!!

Bad luck again *çè"(&'ù*^$ù:,;!

Thank God, or better my stephmom and dad who helped me out with a money transfer through Western Union which I tried myself via internet which should work but not for me ...
I tried it three times, without luck ...
So I left the embassy but 10 minutes later I got the best sms sofar; the code for a moneytransfer ( 392.000 francs ;-)
I went to the bank and thank God, I got the money !!!!
Finally !!!
Cycled back to the embassy, payed 47.000 francs, delivered my passport and picked it up again three hours later !

So now I had : cash, my Burkina Faso visa and ....

In the meantime Charles showed up at my guesthouse !
Suddenly he was there and I was very glad to see him.
We had, again, some great laughs about the bad road we both rode, from Kiffa to Kayes.
And a lot to tell each other.
In the meantime I charged my battery for my camera, my mobile phone and my own battery, which is the most important one ;-)

I hope from now on everything will be better but I could use some support ...
So all of you who want to help me out here please do.
How ?
If you haven't send me an nice suppoting or funny or whatever email yet please do so and send some good vibes with it, God knows I could use some !!!

Untill then all the best !

Lars
Lars,

Bij deze wat positieve energie! Have a good time. Ik ben misschien wel een beetje jaloers op jouw trip.

Groeten,

Rutger
Thinking happy thoughts for Lars,

en bedankt voor de Visa/mastercard tip, ik had zoiets gehoord maar wist niet of het ook in west afrika waar zou zijn,

Blue skies and tailwinds!!!

Shane