A Severe Case of Crabs

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
Trip End Jan 11, 2014

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Flag of Senegal  , Saint-Louis,
Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The group had decided that rather than have another day in Nouakchott we would head on towards Senegal so with a 5.30am start we faced a long drive day to make sure we had time to cross the border. As we were up so early we ate breakfast on the go, a whole orange and a few cheese triangles each.  Little did we know that in Africa they would be obsessed with laughing cow cheese. You can buy it everywhere with whole aisles in supermarkets dedicated to it.

The drive to the border took a bit longer than planned as the roads had deteriorated and there were roadworks which ended up sending us towards a different border crossing.  We had a lovely drive through a national park which was full of water, reeds, storks, herons, cows  and goats. On exiting the park we were ripped off completely and ended up having to pay €7 per person and having to give the park wardens kids some lunch.

After a load more police checks,which consist of them getting on the truck, saying hello, counting us and recounting us until they believe we fit 24 of us on the truck, we carried on to the border.  At this border we have to bribe our way through.  The first guard told us it would be €10 but when the second guard saw how many of us there were it suddenly increased to €30. Unfortunately when you need to get somewhere you have no option than to pay.  This was better than last year when they demanded  a few hundred euros.

Next was another 'legend Steve'experience as we came across a truck blocking the road with a blown out tyre.  Cars we going off road but Steve thought the truck wouldn’t make it so instead decided to widen the path by getting out his chainsaw and chopping off the branches of an overhanging Acacia tree to make a bigger space so the truck could get by.  He also managed to spot a bathtub in a field and stopped the truck so that we could all get some photo’s.

St Louis is the town of our next stop and the outskirts of it were pretty desperate.  There were building sites mixed amongst rubbish dumps and litter just everywhere you looked.  It was very sad to see in such a beautiful country. 

We drove around the city and into the country and arrived at Zebra Bar campsite. Our main excitement was that it had a bar, yes a real bar, with real beer.  After being in a dry country our first stop was to get ourselves an ice cold beer and then explore camp.  It was beautiful, it was perched on the edge of a large estuary with sandy beaches, boats, hammocks and even a playground.  Unfortunately for us the owners didn’t seem too bothered about the thirsty overlanders and shut the bar early resulting In a prematurely early night.

Knowing we didn’t have to do anything we had a very lazy morning with a late breakfast.  Some went to explore in town but I wanted to take a walk up the beach to the headland so headed off with Becci and Matt.  Walking barefoot up the beach and paddling in the water was just paradise after the cities we’d been in.  We had to be careful where we walked as all the way along there were hundreds and hundreds of crabs which were sent scuttling into their holes as we passed. They were purple and orange in colour and the males seemed to have a giant claw on one arm which made them look a bit odd.

At the headland we seemed to have come across the edge of the village.  We watched some young kids practice fishing with a net and then spoke to a young girl and practiced our French.  The sun was getting hotter so we headed back to camp for a swim.  I had spotted a windsurfer so asked the owners if we could use it and then spent the rest of the afternoon playing with it in the water.  I haven’t been on aboard for over 10 years but was pretty proud of myself when I got straight up,out and back without falling in.  Carolin had also windsurfed before as a kid so I helped her and then tried to teach Nick who did pretty well.  It was so nice being in the water again, i’m definitely a water baby.

The evening was whiled away playing Presidents and Assholes, drinking beer while sat by the water.
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derrick241 on

There is always someone at these borders trying to get money for nothing, always try anything tro rip people off

That is impressive, not being on a board for 10 years and still remembering how its doone, clever girl

I think the crabs are fiddler crabs, dunno if they can be eaten though

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