Don’t miss it, be part of it !

Day 29 and 30 - The End

After our nightly escapades in Grand Popo it was time for the ultimate drive towards Marina Beach Hotel in Cotonou, only 80 km away. About half of it was next to a very scenic route along the shore of the Ocean. Dirty 2CV’s filled the parking lot of the posh hotel, smelly TT2008 participants were standing in line with nicely dressed businessmen and laundry was put to dry on the balconies overlooking the sea and the swimming pool: it will take some time to adjust to the ‘normal’ world, I suppose! Read more…

De rest van de organisatie…

_dsc0066.jpgEen ander team dat onontbeerlijk is voor een goed verloop van de Touareg-Trail bestaat uit de vier mechaniekers Sven, David, Frank en Rudy. Een deel van de 2CVs van de deelnemers is geprepareerd voor de TT door deze gasten waardoor ze de wagens door en door kennen. Alle vier zijn ze gepassioneerd door Geitjes en gezien de omstandigheden ook door “bush mechanics”. Het moet eerlijk gezegd worden dat deze gasten werkelijk kunnen toveren met de “voituren”, wat ze herhaaldelijk hebben gedemonstreerd op deze editie van de Touareg-Trail. Niet alleen zijn ze een krak in hun vak, maar ze zijn ook altijd in voor een flauwe grap. Read more…

Day 27 and 28 - From Abomey Voodoo Village to Grand Popo, Atlantic Ocean

dsc_8953.jpgAt a decent hour we started our final trip towards the Atlantic Ocean, to Grand Popo, where it all started for the Touareg-Trail a few years ago. Right before the last toll booth we lined up all the 2CVs and were welcomed by cold drinks contributed by Philippe, owner of the Awale Plage complex we are staying at. We drove through the village of Grand Popo in true 2CV parade style, cheering and celebrating. Banners put up at different locations led us to the first ceremony of the Grand Finale: the mayor of Grand Popo, a representative of the Ministry of Tourism, an official of the district and Sebastien, responsible of the Red Cross of Grand Popo welcomed us in style. Read more…

Day 25 - Hotel “Tata Somba”, Natitingou to Jungle Camp and Abomey

Today we are driving south again, partly on tarmac, partly by off road tracks. At crossroads we regularly see black cocks spit on a wooden stick probably to scare off bad spirits. It simply shows we are entering Voodoo country. Benin was one of the suppliers of slaves for the Dutch and Portuguese colonies in the West Indies (Brazil, Haiti, Jamaica, Southern States of the US etc.) The local population was ‘collected’ by local lords or kings who grew very rich in selling their own population to the foreign boatsmen. Obviously the deported took their traditions and religions with them and that’s why one recognizes the same practices in the Carribean as here in this part of Africa.

Read more…

Dag 22 to 24 - Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso to Benin border

imgp4871.jpgZij die in open lucht sliepen kregen voor een eerste maal af te rekenen met de ellendigste beesten ooit: muggen. Je kent het wel: je probeert in te slapen na een lange dag en ineens wordt dat gelukzalige moment verstoord door het hoogfrequente gezoem van die smeerlapkes. Dan begin je maar wat rondom je te slaan zodat de adrenaline terug begint te stijgen waardoor slapen zeker niet gaat lukken. En het lijkt steeds alsof je immens veel muggenbeten krijgt alhoewel dat in werkelijkheid altijd tegenvalt. Read more…

Day 20 and 21 - from Dogon to Burkina

imgp4518.jpgDay 20 was a very short ride of only 20 km through some soft sand and bush. The track was much easier than last year so the organisation first played around a bit to soften the sand right before the participants arrived. On the program in the afternoon was a visit to a unique Dogon village called Irreli. These guys live against the south side of the Falaise and are world known for their dances and masks. A unique feature is the planning of the villages and the architecture of the houses; they bury their deceased into small niches in the soft mountain wall above their village. For the group this was a first close contact to animism or nature religion, another integral part of Africa. Read more…

Day 18 and 19 - Bamako to Djenne and Falaise

The wonders of Mali…

During our day off in Bamako we were welcomed by the 2CV club of Mali at “Chez Thierry” where we had a copious dinner (3 stuffed pigs and pints of beer). The camera team Hans, Wino and Steven put together a first trailer of three minutes especially for this occasion and it looked very promising. They are actually making personalized films for the participants. The movie of the Flying Dymo car of Seppe and Luc was shown as well, since it is already out on the web: published on YouTube.com by ‘Bokkerijder’ Joris. Last but not least an extended selection of pictures taken during the first weeks of the TT2008 were projected and the general feeling was one of contentment; we are doing something extraordinary here, we made it thus far without any serious trouble AND WE LOVE IT!!! Read more…

Het keukenteam

Wat we ook eens gaan doen deze keer is de organisatie voorstellen. Uiteraard is een evenement als de Touareg-Trail gebaseerd op de medewerking van veel mensen die al dan niet op vrijwillige basis meewerken aan dit avontuur. De meeste crewleden zijn zelf getalenteerde reizigers met een zwak voor Afrika. Het klinkt cliché, maar eens Afrika ervaren, laat het je niet meer los. Read more…

Dag 16 en 17 - Bamako rustdag

As you have noticed, some of the blogs are published in Dutch, like this one. We have opted from the beginning to write everything in English because of the international character of this event and because English is understood widely. We have to draw a line somewhere but since many of the participants are Dutch speaking we are doing an extra effort to give you some stories in Dutch as well. A rather good translator is Google Translate if you want to convert the text into other languages.

Read more…

Day 14 and 15 – from Nouakchott to Mali border

_dsc0477.jpgHi again. Did you have a Mercedes 190 about 20 years ago and are you wondering what happened to your beloved automobile? Well, we’ve got some news for you: they are all here in Mauritania, either burned out or still driving! Between the borders you can find abandoned cars (even a brand new Porsche Cayenne), most of them stolen in Europe and left to be eaten by the desert sand because of dodgy reasons. Another interesting feature you notice when driving around in this country is the regular check points where they ask for “fish”. After a while even the non-French speaking guys understood the police was talking about a ‘fiche’, a copy of passport details.
Read more…