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November 25, 2012 / samwilson60

Back to Dalaba

Back in Dalaba in search of someone with money (banks, even when open, do not seem to offer exchange services, despite it being illegal to change cash any other way). While wandering fairly aimlessly, we bumped into a priest from Mamou, the next town along, who comes to town every other Sunday for mass. Sunday is also market day in Dalaba, but it was a calm kind of bustle and our new friend helped us weave our way through to find a moneychanger. A little over excited by our renewed wealth, we brought lots of bread, even more bananas, a variety of sweet cakes and biscuits and – just before getting back to our hotel on the escarpment – some Laughing Cow cheese spread. Inevitably we feasted before getting down to work, the job for the afternoon being to get the now spare tyre fixed and try to find a piece of metal just the right size to fix the hand winch. Part one was effortless, and incredibly well done – a child of no more than 12 almost single-handedly fixed the tyre to European standards (albeit it with very African tools).

The winch repair was almost as straightforward. The head mechanic, who started gruff but was actually really very sound, took one look at what we needed and sent his mate round the corner, returning with what looked like jackpot. Unfortunately it was just a millimetre or so too thick, but we were extremely grateful nonetheless and happy to head back to camp with the tyre hastily strapped to the roof (the chain hoist that normally houses it spat the dummy and a spring outside the garage, but repairing that’s a job for another day).

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