en route….

Finally on my way! For the next four to six hours I will be doing the following:

1. getting a taxi (after protraced negotiations about the price) and then being hurtled at breakneck speed (no matter what its condition) to the “gare routière”

2. finding a “7 places” (that’s an old Peugeot 504 station car that seats seven people (not 12 as is the case in Guinea where the roads are more dangerous and the cars even older and the drivers suicidal)

3. getting and ignoring offers to buy telephone recharge cards, telephones, telephone holders, belts, jewellery, radios, cigarettes, wallets (for some reason everyone here thinks I need one), biscuits, bananas, lighters, oranges, onions, pocket knives, airport art, watches, pens, toolboxes, individual tools, newspapers (which I’ve already got), whistles, torches – I think you get the idea

4. being whisked off in the now filled up 504 and quite probably sitting in an almightily monstrous traffic jam for two hours trying to get out of town

5. facing oncoming traffic as the driver ignores all road signs and overtakes all manner of lorries and other taxis between Dakar and the first major town Thiès – it’s a stretch of road I have come to fear and loathe (belated thanks to Hunter S. Thomson!)

6. finally settling back a little for the long and excruciatingly boring stretch of 200 plus kilometres that will finally bring me to the old Senegalse capital. Which is celebrating its 350th birthday.

Wish me luck!

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