Jephir Treks America: Bumbling Through Central America

A 6 week adventure in gastronomica, sights, and observation.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Crossing dark waters

oooh, it's a tale of mystery (shaking...)

Broke all the rules and made it across the border at 10 pm - Senegal was great, if tiring. Rosso is the most wretched border we've crossed, but with the help of a few Ferengi lookalikes, we sailed from Senegal to Mauritania without incident. Arrived in Nouakchott at 3am and slept outside our hotel for 3 hours until they opened.

Currently waiting for a morrocan-bound vehicle to offer a ride.

Prospects look mixed at best - it's hot as hell so people are trying to escape the Sahara, but potential rides are competing for beds with 30 french missionaries.

Congratulations to Greg and Christina on their engagement, and for that matter to Kim and Mac for theirs.

Next up, our third trans-Saharan leg.

Planning a shea butter cookbook. First attempt involved an unknown fish, 45 spice mix, a tagine and too much shea butter. Oh well, better luck next time.

Jephir only has about 10 days remaining on this African continent (we're thinking about visiting that other one later this year) flight out is May 9th, arrival time in the early evening.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Obscene Purchases


Drum bag.





Chili pods.

Sand art.

And it's mine, all mine! carry across the sahara the next 7 days.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Dakar, boss, Dakar!!

Awaiting a custom drum in Dakar, senegal.

Prepping for our departure from Casablanca on May 9th (hopefully).

Enjoying the company of our friends Iba and Pap.

Four kilos of shea butter heavier are we.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Tambacounda. Or Tambaprison?

Zephir now bladder infection-less

Nikolo-Koba National Park was...

Cool and troublesome.


Tour guide

Full writeup in a couple of days, but suffice it to say we were unsatisfied with our trip and did not wish to pay the full amount agreed to. Our tour operator first threatened, then took us to the police station where we were threatened with jail time on several occasions if we did not pay. We were finally let go without paying an extra cent. Principle is a wonderful thing.

Today we're headed to Kayes. Here's the forecast!

Any shea butter requests must be received in the next 24 hours in order to be filled. Please order by the demi-kilo.

In other news, our kodak camera departed this world during our safari. Rigor mortis set in quickly due to the high temperatures. During the eulogy it was agreed that our little camera led a useful if not unfocused life. Due to this untimely departure, our blog will be without pics for the foreseeable future unless Sam gets his act together and posts some earlier photos to jephirpics. Off to Mali we go!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Tamba, tamba, tambacounda!

Bladder infection numero dos for the Z-meister.

Cipro is a wonderful, terrible thing.

Somehow it seems to be getting hotter. We currently drink 6-8 liters per day (combined, of course).

Had a papaya for breakfast this morning. Tasted like spaghetti and cheese.

Headed off to the park tomorrow, hoping for some good beasty shots, negative on the death points and possibly a couple of stars in the eveningtime.

Bought the world's greatest alarm clock today. Koran-shaped, it cries out "Allah Akbar!" when it's time to get up and at em'. Managed to bargain $3 off the price. Skills improving.

Made some pickled vegetables in our Nalgenes for the park. And some minty sugar lime juice - practice for this summer's juice stand.

It seems that we're the only tourists in this town other than a trio of French girls. Foreboding or fortuitous?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Still Alive...

Hanging around in Bissau, spent a few days on Bolama Island. Almost didn't get off the island due to poor planning and snotty French folks.

Bissau is a pretty cool city, laid back and expensive with decaying Portuguese colonial architecture. The city doesn't have an electrical grid due to the civil war a couple of years back, but that doesn't keep half the town from staying up on gas powered generators.

Kind of went crazy in the Casamance - culture shock combined with heat and frustratingly long delays put a negative spin on all things. A weekend retreat to a private beach on Bolama Island changed all that, although we are turning back for Morocco due to money concerns, the desire to overland the entire trip and the need to return to the Northeast a bit early. We're thinking about cutting about 2 weeks off the end of the trip, so if anyone wants to come and pick us up we'll be taking submissions for the next month.

Next up, Tambacounda and the Niokolo-Koba National Park, then a jot to Kayes, Mali to pick up some Shea butter before shooting back to Dakar before Mauritania and Morocco. Sooooo... basically, everything is still up in the air. Sound familiar?

Friday, April 01, 2005


Slow connection speed,
Full bladders and
Empty stomachs request
a short entry to the blog.

Touba was energetic at
600 degrees.

Goodbye yo-yo, hello bax.

Sammo has posted a couple (hundred) photos

The Gambia:
Jamaica at Mexican prices.
Lots of monkeys too!

For those visiting Africa, remember that you can always measure the driving skills of your cabbie by the number of cracks in his windshield.

More formal entry tonight/tomorrow... or maybe not?