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Niamey, Niger
We went to Niamey early this morning. The outskirts are all trash, literally. Reinhard stopped for water outside of the city. In Niamey, it is crowded. We parked at the French Embassy and paid a man to watch the car. Then walked around the corner where Uschi and Reinhard had coffee and Leon, a Fanta. I really felt like shit, so I didn’t have anything. There was also goat meat roasting, but my stomach couldn’t take it. We set out on foot for the banks and shopping, stopping to call Don Lambert’s friends to arrange for them to pick up their gifts. The market was wild. People try to take you by the arm and drag you into their stalls and we were accosted by roving hackers and beggars. We bought a car like Reinhard’s aluminum wire ones and two leather boxes. We got great prices on all. Also, Papa Tuareg, a roving salesman, sold me a beautiful handmade knife from Chad, some key ring tassels, and two small leather boxes. All were very good quality. He was quite a character. He had a sack and just kept pulling stuff out. It seemed bottomless. We went to the banks, it took a long time. The DM was very low, so I gave Reinhard $500 in travelers checks and he was able to get more CFA to buy more diesel. Tonight we parked in cram-cram land. It was so bad. Big ones, everywhere we walked. I was sick all evening, had a fever for a while. Started with Lomotil, then went to Immodium. That seemed to work along with Tylenol Sinus. Slept OK, felt better in the AM. While walking Gulu, some kids went by with a donkey cart accompanied by a dog. He was red with erect ears, but a super elegant wedge-shaped head, legs were shorter than an Azawakh, but overall a very pretty dog. I dubbed him the “Nigeren Cram-Cram Hound”. 

The terrain along the Niger River is much greener. Beautiful scenery. There are more mud huts, less straw ones. Lots of palms, Baobobs and Acacia. And LOTS of people. We drove for a long way on a washboard dirt road, then after Gotheye to Tera, we had asphalt. I said that I would never complain about American road again. Along the way, there weren’t too many dogs, but mostly they had thick curly tails, longer hair and a mixed bag of ears. Heads and necks were heavier and they had shorter legs.

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