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Senegal 🇸🇳 – Part II

Upon crossing the border, we encountered Senegalese people blocking the road due to political unrest. Despite the situation, we managed to pass through and eventually stopped at a nearby village for lunch. We were informed that the political situation would continue for the next few days, so we were unsure about our next steps.

At , the road reopened, and we started seeing cars. In each village, we noticed signs of fire on the road. As we passed a large village, we saw many people returning from where they had blocked the road, carrying sticks and alcohol bottles. They warned us not to travel the next day due to the ongoing political demonstrations.

The local community was actively protesting against the possibility of Ousmane Sonko receiving a prison sentence, which could potentially disqualify him from participating in the presidential elections in 2024. As evening approached, we made the decision to find a village to stop and have some food. The shop owner there informed us that the following day, starting from 8 a.m., the roads would be blocked and there would be no school. He suggested that we should take transportation to Ziguenchore.

Taking this advice into consideration, we opted to camp before reaching the larger village of Bignona, hoping to avoid any potential unrest in the area. During the night, as I was catching up on the news, I came across reports of a tragic incident resulting in someone’s death in town, making it clear that the situation was serious.

The next morning, we woke up at 6 a.m., packed and hit the road. When we reached Bignona, we stopped to have breakfast and were informed that the roadblock would commence at 11 a.m. In order to minimize any risks, we decided to stay at a café, enjoying salad sandwiches and coffee. We chose an off-road route, and camped 17 kilometers before reaching Ziguenchore.

The camping spot under the trees was beautiful, but I was dealing with period pain. I tried my best to sleep and ignore the discomfort. In the afternoon, I sorted through my belongings, deciding what I needed to keep and what I could send back home. With the help of Jorg

The next day, we headed to Ziguenchore. I purchased a ferry ticket to Dakar to spend the second part of Ramadan with Moroccan friends. The ferry ride lasted 12 hours and cost 18,000 CFA for a bed. It was a pleasant experience, spending the day enjoying conversations with fellow passengers. I arrived in Dakar at 7 a.m., leaving my belongings at my friend Said’s house. Said had been a great help during my stay in Dakar, connecting me with many Moroccan friends.

During this month, I focused on recovering, fasting, and preparing videos for YouTube. I didn’t went out much, except for the occasional invitation or two go to the shop. Ramadan in Dakar was a lovely experience, thanks to the company of Moroccan friends. Unfortunately, I had a dental emergency and two of my toenails broke ten days before the end of Ramadan. A Moroccan medical student helped me clean the wounds and I hoped for a quick recovery before my departure.

I bought a new camera so I could add pictures to the blog I’m sending from Morocco. The camera was from a good photographer who offered it to me at a reasonable price. I’m grateful for all the people in my life. My cousin also started giving me tutorials on using a Fuji camera, taking it step by step.

The dental issue persisted even after ten days, and a Moroccan dentist advised me to fix it. This bridge cost me 600$ but the dentist didn’t clean it properly before placing the teeth, so now I have to replace it. However, I lack the funds, time, and energy for such a procedure. Removing the bridge would mean losing three teeth, but dental problems have always plagued me.

On the last day of Ramadan, I prepared to attend Salat l’Eid, the special prayer marking the end of the holy month. It was my first time experiencing this occasion outside of Morocco, and it brought back cherished memories of celebrating with my family. I remembered the excitement of wearing new and colorful clothes, the joyous atmosphere as people gathered for prayers, and the widespread smiles of happiness.

After the prayers, we went at Said’s house, where the Moroccan community in Dakar had come together. It was heartwarming to be surrounded by familiar faces and to share in the festivities. The delicious Moroccan food filled the air, and we began preparing a Couscous for our lunch.

In that moment, despite being thousands of kilometers away from home, everything felt reminiscent of Morocco. The atmosphere, the flavors, and the warmth of the community made me feel as though I had been transported back to my homeland. It was a special and memorable day, filled with the spirit of togetherness and the celebration of a cherished tradition.

On my last day in Dakar, Said invited some friends, and we had a farewell dinner at a restaurant. I was delighted to meet new friends in the city and appreciated their love and support. I was excited to return to my bike, and I boarded the ferry at 8 p.m., meeting many people and making friends during the journey. The morning, as I enjoyed my coffee on the ferry, I had an incredible experience I spotted wild dolphins for the first time. It was a truly special moment, even though I didn’t capture it on film. However, after an hour, the dolphins reappeared and this time, I had the opportunity to film them. I arrived at Ziguenchore at 1 p.m. and was warmly welcomed by Zaki, a friend from Dakar. He connected me with Oussama, a Tunisian student in Ziguenchore who would host me.

After arriving in Ziguenchore, where the weather was scorching hot, I met a Moroccan doctor who worked in the region. Unsure whether to head directly to Bisaou or to Cap Skirring, I decided to spend two days in Cap Skirring. On the first day, I visited a well-known spot called Point de George, which offered a panoramic view. Unfortunately, I accidentally broke the drone that my best friend Omar Tanany had given me. I felt a deep sadness as it was the second time I had broken it, despite not using it much. I had hoped to capture the beauty of Cap Skirring.

That same day, I camped near Paco’s restaurant in Cap Skirring, where I encountered friendly people. The next morning, I woke up to a peaceful beach scene with cows resting on the sand. the cows in the village run away from the mosquitoes and come to the sea. They seek refuge at the beach to escape the bothersome mosquitoes. during my visit, it was April 27th, and the entire week was filled with celebrations leading up to May 1st.

On the ferry, I had met a Spanish girl who was also in Cap Skirring, and we decided to attend the party together that night. As we walked towards the party, every 30 meters brought a different style of music and people dancing joyfully. To return, I realized it wasn’t safe to walk back in the dark so I took a taxi to Auberge la PAIX, where I will stay the night as it was challenging to wake everyone up early at Paco’s place an manage taking everything to the road.

The following day, I woke up and made my way back to Ziguenchore. There, I met Oussama and his Moroccan friends, and we had dinner with some Senegalese friends. Among them was a cyclist who gave me the contact information of another German cyclist living in Ziguenchore. This contact turned out to be helpful as I checked his Strava account to assess the road conditions. We also communicated through WhatsApp, and he proved to be a knowledgeable cyclist with many connections throughout Africa.

It was my last day in Senegal after spending two months in this incredible country. Everything had been perfect – the people, the food, the hospitality, the vibes, the smiles, and the love I received along the way.

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