Dan on the road to Ougadougou
On New Year’s morning, I was up early packing our kit away with the stove boiling water for breakfast. By 9am, Dan and I were passing through villages selling expensive bread, the border only 50 to 60 kilometres away.
We came to the Niger border post, had our passports checked and stamped, had some ‘riz sauce’ for lunch and scooted off towards the Burkina Faso border post.
I stopped at the border and took a couple of photos. Before that, an English pick-up, in which were two blokes we’d met in Niamey, came past and waved at us. It was 240 miles to Ouagadougou, so about three days of riding.
The ride to Burkina Faso's capital was fairly uneventful, apart from the fact that it was noticeably greener in this part of the Sahel and with more woodland (apart from where the locals had stripped it for firewood. We saw a lot more wildlife than we had done for some weeks. There were beautifully coloured birds, parrots and types of ‘shite-hawks’ in the trees and bushes as we cycled along the smooth, tarmac road.
Once again, I was having stomach problems from eating or drinking something unclean as we neared the outskirts of the city. I had been trying to keep hydrated in between bouts of diarrhoea and finally thought I was feeling better as Dan and I came through the outskirts of Ouagadougou.
For some reason, I decided that I was so much better that, while pedalling along, I raised my backside off my saddle to break wind. It was then that I realised that I was not better and had a ‘follow-through’. I had to cycle another few miles in a very uncomfortable state until we got to the campsite on the edge of the centre of the city.
I was pretty weak again when we got to the site and unpacked. Dan had to put the tent while I went to get cleaned up. I came back to the tent and got straight into my sheet sleeping bag for the night.
Will Hawkins lives in Lincolnshire with his family, works in a technology company in London and does as many micro-adventures as he can.
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