A crowd in the Sahel
We didn't stay long in Tahoua and moved on quickly but my guts were still hurting. We cycled 90 kilometres from the town stopping at a few villages for breaks, drinks and fruit. For lunch, we ate the local rice and sauce dish which was filling but probably lacked much in the way of nutrition.
My insides were still very painful and that night I was in agony and worse the next day. I could hardly breath or walk. Pain was shooting through my stomach and diaphragm. It got so bad that Dan had to stop a car which took me into Birni N'Konni, 40 kilometres away.
When I was dropped by the driver at the hospital, nobody helped me with my bags and bike out of the car and into the building. It was obvious that I could hardly walk. I threw some abuse at a couple of men hanging around to help me out but no-one bugded an inch.
I waited inside for a while amongst a crowd of parents with their muling children before being brought quickly up to the front of the queue to see a doctor (Was it because I was a white guy who could afford to pay for the treatment? Probably).
The doctor got me to lie on a couch and, after a while, he pronounced that I had amoebic dysentery and prescribed Flagyl and Spasfon for the pain. The doctor gave me a lecture about Niger and Africa being poor and charged me his fee (I can't remember what it was but it seemed cheap).
I limped out slowly, loaded my bike up with my bags and limped around to a nearby pharmacy before slowly riding my bike into town. I headed out to the road to Tahoua hoping to catch Dan on his way in. But, he came up behind shouting for me to stop. I was in agony. We soon found a campsite and went in to find a good shady spot.
That afternoon, we lay about resting. In the evening, I slowly walked into town with Dan and looked about. Birni N'Konni was quite a busy little town, bustling all around us. We bought fruit and sat down at a table in a small stall for 'riz sauce' before painfully walking back to our tent.
We stayed another day before I felt well enough to cycle and after a good spaghetti bolognese at the campsite café.
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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