It starts with a tweet.
Aina has been travelling with Azeem through West Africa.
Captain is beasting Black to Dakar when I get a text.
“You just passed me.”
Aina and Azeem are returning from a Safari a few hours from Dakar in a chartered car, and we sped past them without even knowing.
“We’re three cars behind, you now,” she says, so we do the sensible thing, park and wait. And doing the whole jumping thing when we see each other like we’ve been best friends since forever. Thinking about it now, a lot of that excitement feels like “oh shit, we’re finally meeting other people who have a sense of what the road feels like!”
Everyone heads to Dakar, and the next morning, our first stop is their apartment.
When we settle in, it’s like catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Aina is talking about how they got here – they hopped on a bus from Lagos to Benin Republic. Then another one to Burkina Faso. Then they hopped on a bus that brought them to Dakar – that bus broke down for four hours at night and had them dancing around bonfires with complete strangers to keep warm.
Azeem is talking about how he stepped out in Dakar to go do his laundry and almost got arrested because some policemen mistook him for some Nigerians they were chasing. “Nee-jeh-rian! Nee-jeh-rian!” they said, while grabbing his arm. That didn’t end in tears though, because they left him.
We had to take them back to base, but first, a quick stop at the bank for them to get some cash. More time to gist, and watch them giggle non stop about pretty much everything.
Back to our Airbnb, and we catch up on a few things, which we’ll be sharing over the next few days. First, we compare notes to see where we want to go that they haven’t already. We pick the Pink Lake and a beach somewhere at the Westernmost point of the continent’s mainland.
Wednesday will be set at the Pink Lake, and #JollofRoad just added a Jolly duo.