We were glad to go the next morning. In town, we searched for supplies and scraped a few things together from a supermarket whose shelves were mainly bare. However, that was to be the last ‘well stocked’ supermarket for the next three or four days of riding. We cycled on south towards Kersaz and camped out by some palm trees off the road that night.
The next day, we set off at about 0830 and arrived in Kersaz after picking up a ‘kling-on’ cyclist. Kersaz was very small and had only a few shops. We bought enough food to top us up for three days in total. Water was difficult to get. The supply had been shut off for the day but a shopkeeper helped us out which meant we had two full plastic jerry cans each. We now had fully loaded bicycles. We bought lunch in a small, rough restaurant and ate lentils and stew. It was pretty good despite the surroundings. We left after letting our food settle.
The cycling was hot for the first hour after lunch while we climbed through rocky valleys which eventually led onto more level stretches of nothing. We hardly saw any wildlife. There was the odd bird, lizard or camel but little else. There were few humans except in the odd vehicle which screamed past us. The environment was, of course, something which we were not used to, but we were beginning to get used to it, bit by bit.
A Frenchman pulled up ahead of us at one point. He stepped out of his Peugeot (one of the hundreds of them that drove old French cars to Niger or other West African countries to sell them for a profit) and waited for us to approach. We pulled up and talked to him. He told us he had cycled down from Algiers to Niamey the year before. He was full useful tips (a bit too many, in fact) and he gave us a French biscuit each, which made up for his slightly irritating presence! We camped behind a small dune that 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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