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Old 12-09-2013, 08:44 PM   #151
steved57
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Great R R , well written with awesome pics so looking forward to more
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:55 AM   #152
arjones
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Laugh Thank you so much.

Post #148 = one of the best I've see in advrider. You, my friend, are rising the bars when it comes to what a surfer/biker would have to do in order to live a true adventure. No more Indo chatters....

Keep it coming.

Cheers.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:14 AM   #153
Lacedaemon
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Wow.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #154
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What an awesome RR! Subscribed!
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:40 PM   #155
Sroz
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Great work! Glad you are loving it. If the fisherman are around when you get out the water see what they have caught as You could score some great fresh sea food. Keep up your report, your efforts are greatly appreciated
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:52 PM   #156
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In 5 days I'm headed across Europe and down the west coast of Africa.

In 5 days I'm headed across Europe and down the west coast of Africa. Awhile back I go the idea into my head to strap a surfboard to my ...
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:48 AM   #157
garnaro OP
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No Man's Land



The stretch of terrain designated as ‘no man’s land’ began to seem a bit more ominous as shadows grew long in the late afternoon. A 5km buffer zone that lies between Western Sahara and Mauritania consists of tracks that criss-cross through nasty sharp patches of rocks and sand pits and is littered with burnt out vehicles. I thought that I’d planned plenty of time to get to and traverse the border, but again I’d underestimated the slowness of progress through the chaos of African borders. Little offices with very grumpy attendants doling out little pieces of paper and no indication of the ordering of which office and which piece of paper needs whichever stamp on it first. This is standard procedure, and while I told myself that I need to get used to it, standing in line after line sweating in motorcycle gear is exhausting. On the upside, I am now quite good at interpreting anything on an immigration form in French.





Finally riding away from the Mauritanian border feels fantastic – I’m in! A twist of the throttle and I'm free, out into the open desert again. Time to go find some surf. But first, as usual, time to find some sand to fall down in.





Looking down at the GPS, I saw that I had been in and out of the red border that marks no man’s land all morning as I rode around looking for a wave. Each time I approached a group of buildings or someone in a truck I expected someone to tell me to get the hell out of there, but it never happened.





Then I found a very big boat. While its location was rather unfortunate for the people who were on the boat, it happened to help create a nice little sandbar with a wave whizzing along in its shadow for me. It was an eerie feeling surfing right next to a massive ship in the wrong place as I heard the loud clang of waves smacking into the far side of it reverberating through the hull.





A better surfer may have found his way out of a few of the little barrels being served up, but I just found myself a face full of sand prior to exiting. Chalk one up for Mauritania.



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Old 12-17-2013, 07:19 AM   #158
ricochetrider
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Freakin Awesome.

Subscribed!

Chompin for more of this one, dude.
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Old 12-20-2013, 01:39 AM   #159
Todd34
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Great RR! I hear you are in town. PM'd you. Let's link up.
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:46 AM   #160
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The Call of Senegal





If I laid on my back and turned my foot just so, I could get enough light from the nearby fluorescent lamp to dig the biggest urchin spines out of the ball of my left foot. The restaurant parking lot in Dakar that I’ve called home for the last week isn’t the most glamorous of accommodation, but it is affordable and close to embassies that I’d been running around to trying to procure visas. Despite the mood that this scene might conjure up, I couldn’t have been a happier camper. As I motored south to Senegal, the waves turned from very good to stupid good. I arrived to find a perfect barreling lefthander grinding its way along a reef in front of a giant ornate mosque. I surfed alone until two Spaniards living nearby came out to share some waves with me until dark. The surf continued like this for the next few days and I mostly teetered at the edge of having myself truly stuffed into some tubes on my backhand, right in the pocket of the wave. I got pitched over the falls pretty good on one failed attempt and managed to put a nice elbow sized hole just about dead center in the bottom of my board. Chalk one up for Senegal.





The pelicans thought the surf looked pretty good too.





After two and a half months in the desert, I’d had enough and was more than happy for the abrupt change in landscape that happened as I approached the Senegal River, which marked the border with Mauritania. Near the border I caught sight of one of the longest trains in the world - with trains up to 1.6 miles long that traverse the Mauritanian Railway carrying tons of iron ore.






I’d eaten lunch that afternoon sitting on a sand dune, and now suddenly there was lush vegetation before me and I could feel moisture in the air. It felt fantastic and it pulled me southward.






The shift away from such an arid landscape meant that I now got to fall down in the mud rather than the sand. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to hop off of the perfectly good track that I was riding down onto the tidal plane near the mouth of the Senegal river, which, rather predictably in hindsight, turned out to be a squishy moto-eating mud pit. I hadn’t seen another car for the last 40 km on the track and the tide was coming up. After getting properly bogged, I took what I thought would be the quick option and tried to get unstuck without unloading anything and ended up spinning the bike around barely in control so that it ended up laying d0wn pointing into the river rather than back up towards the track. So much for getting out quickly. I was feeling pretty foolish about creating this situation as I began to unload the bike.





Fortunately two German guys in a Toyota showed up to find my yard sale strewn out along the bank of the Senegal River. They rolled up their pant legs and came down to give me a shove out of the mud and back up onto the track.





Their Toyota was kitted out with big suspension, a winch, and a roof tent, and full pantry. Their dinner cuisine was far better than any of my efforts to date. But they did have a strange sense of fashion.





While the landscape turned green, faces turned from brown to black, women went from fully covered or absent in public gathering places to being visible everywhere in vibrantly colored dresses. Incredibly fit looking men trained on the beach and groups performed regimented soccer drills. It couldn’t have been more apparent that we’d left Arab Africa behind and had entered Black Africa. Our first stop was a camp on a sand river bar south of St. Louis where I made a little friend who liked to wear my hat.





There is nothing more fun gathering around big map laid out in the sand to discuss places, plans, and routes. There were all brands of overlanders in the mix - trucks, motos, and bicycles.





Now traveling with the Germans in the Toyota, I motored south to Dakar. We were stopped numerous times by police for fabricated violations trying to get some money out of us. We’d already had our fill of extortion from people in uniforms at the border crossing, and we were in no hurry, so we just stayed friendly, bought mandarins from the ladies at the side of the road, and waited them out until we were simply told to go.


The city of Dakar sits at the end of the Cape Vert peninsula, the westernmost point of the African continent. It is the historic finish point of the Paris–Dakar rally, the most prestigious off-road race in the world (now moved to South America due to security concerns). While in Dakar, in addition to roaming about the Cape Vert peninsula looking for waves, my task has been to procure visas for some of the countries that lie ahead. The red tape fun began in earnest. Nearly every country on the west coast of the continent requires a visa of American citizens for transit. Each one takes about 2 days to process and some have substantial documentation requirements such as a hotel booking, letter of invitation, and letter to the consulate describing your travel intentions. Even with everything in order, the fact that a visa may be denied for whatever reason deemed sufficient by the consular officer can become incredibly frustrating. I dug in and made myself comfortable.



Dyna Rae got some new rubber.



And between rolls of red tape, I found some ocean magic at the western edge of Africa.



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Old 12-23-2013, 12:32 PM   #161
manban9888
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Not only are you on the adventure of a lifetime but your RR and pictures are as good as it gets. I wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and hope you write a book about this one day.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:57 PM   #162
trevhead
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those empty lineups!!!!!!! thanks for the great pictures and updates....i feel the salty brine in spirit.
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:57 PM   #163
Sroz
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Sweet surf! Good to see you score it with The right conditions!
ENVIOUS!
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:10 PM   #164
Todd34
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Great pics as always. Keep them coming. See you tomorrow.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:11 AM   #165
garnaro OP
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Merry Christmas!

A Merry Christmas to all :-)

And much thanks to Todd34 for the Christmas dinner invite here in Dakar - see ya tomorrow!
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