Senegal Part III – Mini Adventure by Patricia
It seems hard to believe only 2 days ago our adventure of the day was Barb and I sitting on the beach, contemplating the various 6 packs of the beach boy/men as they were doing multiple push up sets, sit ups, stretching, jogging in place and what have you. Let me tell you, today’s adventure was a little more out there. We were off to Lac Rose the home of some of the world’s most famous salt and the finish line of the Paris to Dakar car rally. Sounds innocent enough….
Our driver Maum was at the wheel as we journeyed up the only road toward Dakar comforted by the sights of multiple car wrecks littering the way….(only three police stops this time) As we pull into Lac Rose a young kid about 25 jumps up on the running board and declares himself as our guide. “If you like – pay, no like -no pay. Okee dokee. “Me I’m speaking the 4 languages, Very good Francais, very good Italian, very good Spanish, and ok English. Hmm the light bulb should have gone on then.
Off we go driving around the lake looking at the salt harvest and being hounded big time by vendors whipping out their wares with the speed of light, then packing them up and running after the car as we go along only to set them out time and time again. We reach the end of the lake and our young guide asked if we wanted to go in the desert with the jeep and Aaron said “No”. Somehow or another the guide missed that part of English class because we ended up smack in the middle of Sand dune hell and 5 minutes later we were hopelessly bogged down. The guide said “this is small problem – we let out small air in tires and then we go no problem”. So he did and back in the car we go and drive 10 yards…. Problem…. Aaron gets out of the car and realizes the guide has let all the air out of three tires and they were completely flat and buried in the sand. Our guide now says “big Problem”.
Its 300 degrees out, (ok low 100’s) we are in the middle of the desert Lompoul and kind of hooped.
For some reason I had on my only pair of cute shoes complete with fake diamond buckles, a skirt, no hat, sunscreen or water…I thought I was touring around in the car with small shopping stops along the way for goodness sake. Barb and I slog through calf deep sand to find some shade while the guys try to figure out how to get the car out. I ended up holding Maum's cell phone for him which would end up being a very good thing.
They send the kid off to get help (hoping he will actually come back). Finally he does and is happy to report that a truck will be on the way to rescue us shortly. Voila!
The truck arrives and the guy looks impressive as he pumps up the tires and wields car tools. At last we are ready to go. Barb and I are sweating it up big time in the back seat, the kid is driving and Aaron and Maum are with the rescue guy.
Off we go, gunning up the first hill and zipping down the back side of the dune and we keep going, afraid to stop lest we get stuck again. The kid is starting to enjoy this (somehow his English has dried up and he can’t figure out we are telling him to slow down) and he floors it and we burn through the desert at breakneck speed four wheel drifting through the curves, whipping over bumps getting so much air Barb and I are screaming and hanging on for dear life. I feel like I am IN the Paris to Dakar Rally. Finally we burst out onto the beach and now he really goes for it. The speedometer is inching up and up and I have given in to whatever fate awaits. Finally the village is one sand hump away…… then….RING….RING…RING…...I still have Maum’s cell phone and I am not sure if I should answer it. I shakily pull it out and a voice on the other end is calling for help. You must come back!! Guess what? The rescue truck has broken down! Jeeze! We pull a quick four wheel drift turn and hurtle back down the beach and there’s Aaron and Maum waiting yet again for help. Not to be believed some vendors spotted us and rushed over to try to sell us hats and fake ivory tusks at “very cheap prices!” Aaron and Maum jump up onto the back bumper African style and off we go leaving the rescue guy to his fate. We hot foot it past the two huge French tanks poised on the beach and finally we zip into the village, head to a local restaurant guzzle beers and have lunch. Interesting day.
Cheers, Pat and Aaron
Senegal Part I
Senegal Part II
Have a wonderful day, friends! J