The vastness of the Sahara has given way to savannah and pastoral villages, demarcated by mud brick huts with the thatched roofs of Senegal. If it didn't feel like it before, now we really feel like we have arrived in Africa. The sun has barely crested the horizon and already the heat is becoming oppressive. We are whisked along steadily by our 2 KTM 690's while the villages we pass come to life gently but with a briskness that prefaces the inferno that will surely come. Off to one side we spot a hive activity as men, women, children, cows and donkeys congregate around a communal well. We pull over to top up our water bladders and wet our vests, all the while encountering the Africa we came to discover. The women and children pull up leaky buckets of water that are decanted into tubs before being escorted atop someone's head to a small vegetable patch close by. The women are hard at work, yet elegant and regal in vibrantly coloured dresses.
Our final day in Namibia after nearly 2 weeks of relaxing the pace and exploring and enjoying some of the attractions was one of the most spectacular. The dry, jagged canyons opened up to a verdant river valley, where the road lazily flowed along the banks of the Orange River. We crossed into South Africa on a 2 vehicle ferry at Sendelingsdrif, sad to leave Namibia behind. Checking into South Africa was easy enough although in hindsight we should have insisted on a TIP or some import document as it would have helped with shipping the bikes back home later.
Apologies that it has taken so long for the final update. Life just happened again as soon as we touched down back home. But it is nice to relive some of it now 6 months later after letting it all sink in. So here we go.
To pick up where we left off though, we departed Brazzaville early to beat the road closure for the elections that weekend. No troubles through the Poole region down to the Boko crossing into the DRC. We got our passport stamped in Louingui based on iOverlander advice. Stamped again at the border. Great roads on an adventure bike if they are dry. Wouldn't be much fun in the wet.
We are currently in Brazzaville, looking across the Congo River at Kinshasa and the madness to come. From Cameroon we decided to go through Gabon rather than direct to Congo. Gabon gets high praise for its scenery etc so figured why not.
We are through Nigeria and had a great time. None of the hassles we were warned so much about beforehand.
Currently in Cotonou, Benin and heading to Lagos. Quick update though.
We are currently at the Sleeping Camel. Great place with good food after a few scorching, 40+ degree days from St Louis to Bamako.
We made it to Rabat and wasted a day trying to get a Mauritanian visa which they claimed would take a week in Rabat. They told us to go to the border.
Seeing as our day was cut short we thought we would try Ghana and Nigeria. Neither were any help. Others might already know this, but none residents of a country the embassy is in generally can't get for that country. At least not that far from Nigeria or Ghana in this case. Our original plan was to get these visas closer, but thought we would chance our arm. If nothing else it was a good introduction to African bureaucracy.
At the moment we are probably stuck up to our axles in sand in Morocco or trying to figure out how we are going to get across a hippo invested river in the Congo, which is to say, we aren't blogging. And if we aren't in either of those situations, then we are on Instagram @nomadikandco. That is the best place to see what we are up to until we have something constructive to put in a blog.
But thanks for thinking that we have something to say. In time we will.