Dakar-Bamako Express

From Dakar in Senegal we plan to go by train to Bamako in Mali. We buy tickets for our selfs and then we deliver the motorbikes
at the back of the train station. There is no ramp and the platform is almost one meter high. But 8 guys want to help us to lift the
bikes up. Ofcourse they want some money and suddenly 15 ! men helped us, they all want money.
For the transport of the motorbike we have to pay per kilo. So the bike is put on a balance and weighted. 337 kilo's.....What!!!!
This is not possible, we know that our bike weights about 240 kilo with all the gear. But than we see that one of the guys is standing
on the balance......Nice try guys, I love these Africans......

With a speed of 60 km/h the train moves slowly ahead.
The rail track is very bumpy and it feels that we are driving
over a corrugated road. And that for 31 hours....
At almost every little village the train stops and the local people
sell their stuff. Bread, tea, fruit, fish and even watches or sunglasses.
At night the train stops at the border at Kidira and Harald goes out to pick up the passports that were taken by the train guard. At the immigration office Harald wants also that the "carnets de passage" for our bikes get stamped. While he is waiting he hears a whistle and the man at the immigration say: thats your train, you better run.... Harald grab the papers and hops to the train. He can not run fast because of his injured knee from an accident in Morocco. The train is speeding up and Harald is just able to jump on the footstep of the last waggon. For more than 20 minutes he stands on the footstep. In one hand the papers and holding himself with his other hand. Then somebody sees him and opens the door.





At a train stop he wants to walk to our waggon but the train starts to move again. He jumps
in a carriage waggon and when somebody turn on a lighter he is surrounded by 30 people.
They look very strange that a white man is travelling in the cheapest waggon.....
At a next stop he goes out and walk to the waggon where Udo sleeps. When the train pulls
up Udo wake up and see Harald coming. ,,You can go to sleep, Harald says",
I arranged all the papers......





shopping at a train stop