Dakar, decisions and the new route…

Time for a brief update from Dakar…

Days since we left the UK- 60
Days when Mikaela has declared she wants to go home- 7 (becoming less common)
Soaps used- 8
Cheese triangles eaten- creeping up to a shameful 100
Offers to buy our bicycles- 35
Advice that we drive next time- 20+
Punctures- Mikaela 1 / Imran 0
Snakes spotted- 4
Living snakes spotted- 0 (thankfully)
Monkeys in road- 18

Our visas for Mali begin on December 5th, thus we have decided to change our route in Senegal. Originally we planned on a quick sprint through the region following the course of the Mauritanian border, but at the border, realising we had more time than planned we changed our minds deciding instead to head to Dakar, through The Gambia and into Casamance where the scenery and culture is known for its vibrancy.

Keen to get back on the road we are now waiting in Dakar for the Tabaski festival to pass us by. Tabaski is a festival of sacrifice, here in West Africa that sacrifice means a kind of goat apocolypse. Everywhere goats are being transported to various destinations where they will serve to feed families as they celebrate this important festival (more commonly known as Eid al-Adha). As a result of this celebration all shops and services close for several days making it a bad time for us to be on the road. The decision to stay in Dakar has not been difficult given the incentive of large quantities of food and mass festivities!

Nearing Tabaski

Currently we are staying between two houses, one belonging to some very hospitable couchsurfers from Tunisia who are studying in Dakar and the other is of Dialimady, the brother of a kora player and friend in London. Dialimady offered the roof to his shared house which given the sweaty night temperatures has brought us some very cool and starry nights!

Dialimady's house

Over the next few days we will celebrate Tabaski before getting back on the road and heading towards the border with the Gambia where we are told the landscape will become greener, the people even more hospitable and musicians abundant.

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7 responses to “Dakar, decisions and the new route…

  1. Happy Goat Fest!

  2. You know the Chinese are taking over Africa when google maps spells Bamako 巴马科

  3. Enjoy the goat meat xxx

  4. Yea man! Sweet. photos look banging. Dakar is pretty cool i tink we all enjoyed it when we were there. Have you been doing much jamming with local musical peoples? Bare impressed with how you’re doing so far.

    If you get a chance, go to the Casino Cap Vert, I didn’t go but the others did, I think there was a good band, but also loads of prostitutes and european business man, made for a wierd vibe which inspired a new FUR tune which should be all recorded by the time you guys get back!

    ssssafe
    x x

  5. If for some reason you change itinerary again and happen to end up in the coast in Gambia (Banjul-Bakau-Serekunda-Kotu-Kololi) I know quite a few people there as I was learning balafon there a few years ago so I can hook you up. Kotu and Kololi are quite touristey but theres some wicked reggae clubs. xx

  6. Grim and Grumps

    you two will look like triangular shaped cream cheeses soon, but the soaps used is reasurring. Enjoy as much as you can the nice food you seem to be able to get and try to forget about cheese triangles. Hope you are learning as many of the instruments you can. and can explain how they work when we see you. love to byou both from both of usXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  7. Hey guys
    Just got back from the fantastabulous Afrocubismo concert… wow, they were all brilliant, it was totally packed and everyone was on their feet pretty soon. Lucy Duran anchored a talk beforehand for members – with Eliades Ochoa, Toumani Diabate and Nick Gold.
    Hugh Masekela was really something too – a much better concert than last time in London.
    NEWS… I just casually picked up our local rag the Islington Tribune, and it fell open at an article about you guys “from the borough”, with pic!!! I’m scanning it tomorrow and will attach to an email.
    Take care, enjoy Gambia, watch the mozzis :o( xxxxx

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