St. Louis, Africas equivalent to Cuba

Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
Trip End Oct 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
auberge de Jeunesse

Flag of Senegal  ,
Friday, October 15, 2010

We had the first delay at the checkpoint before the Mauritanian border when we arrived at 18:30. After the big headache and waiting for the guys at the Mauritanian border, entering Senegal was just the same big pain in the ... We crossed the river to commence another long wait and paperwork nightmare. This time we had to pay 100euros per vehicle since there is a law in Senegal prohibiting all entry to vehicles over 5 years old. An exception can be made in the form of a bribe. A very expensive one indeed. The guards had the cheek to walk around in flashy clothes and Jewellery.. It was now 22:00 when we finally left en route to St. Louis. I was feeling ill to add to the hassle.

This side of the border had some pretty different landscape despite a river providing a short separation from each border. Mauritanian side was marsh land while Senegal had more lush vegetation. It was a short drive to the beautiful and colonial city. We crossed the famous and ancient Eiffel bridge made out of Steel and rusting away. We stopped to eat and looked for some places to stay. The "Auberge de Jeunesse" (Youth hostel) was the better deal and certainly looked the part. It was clean, tidy and above all, cheap. It certainly had a good old colonial feel about it. Breakfast was also included. We settled into a room with 4 wrought iron beds covered in mosquito nets. I fell asleep pretty quick and woke up drenched in sweat the next morning to some loud African music in the street. Downstairs breakfast was a nice relief. A selection of Nescafe, hot chocolate, Tea, fresh baguette, Jam and real butter! That was a real luxury a really tucked in.

Out on the street on the way to get insurance at the Axa place we got hassled pretty much every step of the way. Mind you they were all very friendly but it was still very annoying.. not a moment of peace! We took a short walk around but the hassling was intense. We shook them off as much as possible and got underway. We queued up to get back on the steel Eiffel bridge in the slow, traffic chaos. Exiting the town was just as bad. We took the road down south and this time, instead of going to Dakar which is a major nightmare to get into and out of we pass the bandia national park en route to a coastal resort called Mbour.

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