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November 26, 2012 / samwilson60

Back out of the Fouta

On our way out of town we managed yet another small victory on the truck repairs front. We’d found the perfect spring for the chain hoist the previous day, almost by accident when picking up the slim-line tent pegs, and having beaten the shit out of the rivets to get the new spring in place, it was clear these needed replacing with countersunk bolts. After all our tours around town with the tent-peg mechanic, we knew just the man to visit and within minutes we were out of town with all we needed to get the spare tyre back under the truck where it belongs (before it destroys any more racket straps).

Heading back out of the mountains, so far so smooth

We enjoyed the tarmac if not the heat, having been warned time and again that from Dabola the road gets bad. Dabola itself was a bit of let-down and the bread tasted of petrol/dust so we opted for the usual camping in the grounds of the biggest hotel we can find. This one was particularly unaccustomed to such proposals but went with the idea and found us a shady spot, out of the way. Once we’d done a bit of tidying (rubbish-picking), we were happy enough with the solution and set about with our usual afternoon tasks – finding food, fixing things, having a cold beer.

From Dabola, as promised, the road deteriorated greatly. No warnings can prepare you for the pain and frustration of bumping along at no more than 20km an hour in and around pothole after giant pothole.

To add salt to the wounds, our map has got so grubby that all the mileage markers have been obscured and we underestimated the distance we had to cover before Kouroussa, the next town big enough to put us up for the night. We hobbled up, concerned that the suspension on the Tinker Beast would never be the same again and fairly certain the exhaust had shed its mounts. We found what seemed to be the only hotel in town and decided that 90,000 francs wasn’t actually that bad a price for an en-suite room with running water and electricity. It turned out that in reality, we had neither, but by the time we realised this it was too late to continue any further, assuming as we did that the road was more pothole than tarmac. Once again, we pitched the tent in the car park and again had a surprisingly good night’s sleep out of it.

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