Road to recovery

· 5 min read · mauritania damage health

Following the accident last week, I'm ready to provide an update. I'll try to keep it concise!

Thanks for all the messages, tremendous kindness, and continued donations. I am very grateful for this!


My diet has consisted of protein (eggs, cheese, tinned sardines, beans, lentils, almonds, small amount of luncheon meat, and pate), lots of water, lots of fruit (beautiful clementines) and vegetables, and lots of white bread, which is abundant by the wheel barrow (no joke; literally!) and cheap. Hopefully eating well with good protein will speed up recovery. This requires rest too, so I've elevated my thigh and made these changes to the website:

  • added mailing list (email icon at bottom of every page),
  • added filtering blog by country or tag (see bottom of page),
  • updated route map,
  • finished uploading backlog of photos to instagram (instagram icon at bottom of every page,)
  • added total raised for charity (home and the cause pages),
  • added stats about journey to homepage (distance, days, countries),
  • enhanced data backup,
  • updated software framework that runs the website,
  • server tweaks.

My background is computer science, so the technical challenge has been fun. Working with intermittent 3G where speeds typically crawl to less than 20 kB/s has not been fun!

After the accident, I had some minor injuries to my right thigh, ribs/back, right wrist and hand, and right elbow.

Swollen right thigh after motorcycle accident.
Grazed right elbow after motorcycle accident.

My current physical status:

  • reduced swelling to right thigh, so no longer hobbling and throbbing/pain is less frequent and less severe, slight graze remains, large and light green bruise dissipating;
  • ribs are not as painful, but I bend and sit down done with caution;
  • wrist not as painful, so easier to grip, light green bruise to palm is dissipating;
  • graze on elbow healed completely;
  • much cleaner with hot shower at auberge. :)

Might sound strange, but I have admiration for the courage of those who battle more serious injuries from motorcycle accidents. I'm lucky as mine are minor. I love motorcycle racing but risks are high, especially for road events like the legendary Isle of Man TT, which frequently takes lives.

A typical day has been less exciting than the thrill of motorcycle riding! Buying food in town where countless people say hello and ask how I am. They're very friendly in Atar, Mauritania. Weaving through side streets where tiny stalls sell fruit and vegetables between burly men hacking meat and fish, which I have been victim to fish splatter! Chilling under shade at the auberge to escape the heat. Met a group of French in 4x4s. Listened to multiple calls to prayer over speakers at nearby mosques. Providing company to site wildlife.

Resident ducks and chickens at auberge in Mauritania.

I'm sleeping in a Moorish tent from the auberge.

A moorish tent.

My bed has a mosquitto net!

My bed with a mosquito net inside a Moorish tent in Mauritania.

It's just me, so keeping my kit spread out is less painful as I don't have to constantly repack. Sloppy, but it's what I need.

Unpacked my kit inside the Moorish tent.

Here's where I've spent most time resting (next to electricity plugs to charge my devices!).

View from where I


On my second day, I found a fuel station selling essence (petrol) because I need this for returning to Nouakchott and cooking on my stove. Demanding on my body, but relieved to find it on sale!

Today, more than a week after the accident, I had less pain and felt I could inspect the motorcycle. With the help of three guys, we lifted the bike onto a makeshift stand.

Honda CRF250L on makeshift stand to repair front rim.
Makeshift stand to raise motorcycle off the ground.

I took the front wheel off and removed the rim. Sand and gravel had been forced between rim and tyre.

Honda CRF250L on makeshift stand with front wheel removed.
Sand and gravel forced between rim and tyre during accident on my Honda CRF250L with a Continental TKC80.

Removing the tyre from the rim was painful on my back and ribs. The rim has a dent on one side and there are no visible cracks.

Tyre levers next to Continental TKC80 front tyre removed from my Honda CRF250L.

Dent on one side of front rim on my Honda CRF250L.
Dent on one side of front rim on my Honda CRF250L.
Dent on one side of front rim on my Honda CRF250L.

I plan to fix the wheel first then inspect fork alignment. I'm considering options for how to fix rim with what I have available to me (a vice, vehicle jack, hammer etc). Any thoughts gratefully received!

The handle bars are bent, so I'm considering replacing rather than the risk of snapping them from an attempt to bend them back.

The top box I bought in Spain has broken fixtures that no longer attach it to the motorcycle. I can drill holes and attach directly to my rear rack, which means it becomes a permanent fitting rather than easily detachable, which I can live with.

Front plastic cover that houses the head light is loose and needs re-attaching.

Brake light needed adjusting by the foot lever as it wasn't illuminating.

The auberge owner returned today and has said he knows a motorcycle mechanic in Nouakchott, which I'll ask more about.


The following sustained damage during the accident.

Point and click camera has damaged lens and photos have slight smudge as a result, I'm considering replacing the lens, otherwise a new camera is needed. I can use my backup phone in the mean time.

Trousers have a small tear from impact to right thigh. This is easily fixed with needle and thread.

Helmet has broken plastic shell on right side. I'll wear it until I can find a new one.

There are multiple bits to fix; however, I'm happy and positive, and it's just a challenge in the larger adventure of this journey :D

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