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arrived at the Senegal river

posted Feb 5, 2013, 8:45 AM by Andras Kalmar   [ updated Feb 17, 2013, 1:20 PM ]
We are waiting for the ferry to take us across the Senegal river. The capacity of the ferry is around 10 cars and one trip takes around one hour. Guess how long we will wait here...
In the meantime the first car that did the racing route arrived. That must have been the hardest Budapest-Bamako stage ever. Hundreds of kilometers of sand dunes followed by a dry riverbed where the teams had to build their own bridges from rocks to cross.
One Czech team had to abandon a 100,000 EUR Porsche Cayenne in the dunes.

We had a pleasant drive from Noakchott to the Senegalese border today, and since there was no army "protecting" us, we could even make a short detour into the dunes. Baby Beast is behaving well in sand, if the tyres are deflated to around 0.8 bars, it is a lot of fun to jump over the dunes.

Except from slightly ;-) misaligned front wheels, a cracked windscreen, and the loss of synchronization of the second gear, everything is OK.
In contrast, Pajero is seriously sick, its frame is cracked, the fuel pump is leaking (covering the whole engine in a thick layer of diesel and sand), and the clutch we replaced in Zagora is slipping again. The next town to get it repaired is Tambacounda, 400km on dirt roads. Cross your fingers that we make it there.

Hooray, the queue has moved by 10 meters. From here we can see the river already. The Senegal is a slowly moving 1km wide river, the water is surprisingly more green than brown. Nice to see water, trees, and birds again. We will be enjoying this sight for several hours now....