Yet another flaring sun rose in the all-clear blue sky over the west African coast. Another exquisitely beautiful day had just started at Cap Skirring Beach, Casamance. I had already spent there more days than what I could have kept count of. So, waking up that morning, I felt the impulse to do something different than what I had been doing regularly ever since I arrived there: coming in and out from the ocean and laying on the beach.
I had my breakfast and got down to the beach, straight to that hut made of branches and straw, where a guy who had some bicycles to rent was. Sensing the imminent profit, he greeted me enthusiastically and displayed his collection of some 5-6 bicycles. After checking them all out, I chose the only which was practically functioning. It was still far from anything one could describe as a proper bicycle. The gears did not work at all, the brakes the same, the chain was rusted, the wheels and every other part of it were just not straight, the whole thing was shaking and creaking like a bunch of dragged scrap metal… however it could still move forward as long as I kept the pedals revolving. It ought to serve as my vehicle for that day. I gave the bike-guy 3000 CFA and left.
I made a short stop at the vulcanizer to inflate the tires, and I left Cap Skirring behind, having taken the road northwards to Diembering village. The ride was a very pleasant one. Throughout the 14 km of its duration, I encountered no motor-vehicle and barely any other motion at all. The surrounding landscape was, fortunately, flat, dominated by sandy plains with scattered palm trees, casuarinas and various other sorts of tropical trees.
I soon reached Diembering village, where the road concluded at a round-about around a gigantic tree in the heart of the village. My original idea was to reach Cachiouane village some 10 km further to the north-east, though, as I found every road from there on being covered by fine sand, making it practically impossible to cycle, I was obliged to quit this idea. Instead, I spent some time strolling, pushing the bike along the sandy paths inside and around the village.
Coming back to the road, I stopped for a coffee and snack at a nice cafe by the gigantic tree and started on my return to Cap Skirring.