Challenging Track

· 2 min read · guinea-bissau border beach sand

The visa for Guinea-Bissau, from Ziguinchor, took less than five minutes! Once collected, Ron and I rode together from Senegal into Guinea-Bissau, which was a straight-forward crossing without issue.

Whilst purchasing SIM cards in Sao Domingos, sweat was pouring from me onto the floor and paper that we were using to communicate numbers with the shop. Somewhat embarrassing!

I said goodbye to Ron as he headed for the capital, Bissau. I'd heard of a route to Varela on the coast and had been pre-warned about the track's condition and the sandy bits. It's about 30 miles. The beach on the coast had been described as idyllic and I like the idea of a challenging ride, so I went for it!

It certainly was challenging with dirt, wet dirt, sand, soft sand, lots of bumps etc. This is what a sandy stretch looked like.

Stretch of soft sand from San Domingoes to Valera, Guinea-Bissau..

Standing for so long was tiring on the legs. I rested from the intense sun, but continued to sweat profusely. Sounds odd, but I relish moments like this.

Stopped for a rest between San Domingoes to Valera, Guinea-Bissau..

Most of the track cut through heavy vegetation, but some stretches were in vast open spaces that were being farmed.

Open area used for farming between San Domingoes to Valera, Guinea-Bissau..

Pleased to say: I made it! And, the bonus: without falling off or dropping the motorcycle. Took about 1 hour and 30 minutes. There was one close shave when unexpected soft sand caught me off-guard. A great accomplishment for me as I have little experience off road! Definitely confidence building.

I camped at the cliff top next to Varela with a fantastic view of the sea. No boats or people in sight.

Top of cliff on coast next to Valera, Guinea-Bissau.
View from cliff top, next to Valera, Guinea-Bissau.

Exploring the immediate area to check suitability for camping, I found the beach.

Walking to the beach, next to Valera, Guinea-Bissau.
View from top of the cliff, next to Valera, Guinea-Bissau.
Termite mound? Next to Valera, Guinea-Bissau.
The beach next to Valera, Guinea-Bissau.

Tomorrow, I ride back on the same challenging track!

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