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Chasing the Lizard's Tail - across the Sahara by bicycle
These pages contain the complete text of Jens Finke's Chasing the Lizard's Tail, an epic Saharan travelogue describing a bicycle journey across the Sahara Desert, from Morocco, through the Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Senegal, to the Gambia. In the words of one review:
"On the surface, the book deals with a bicycle trip from Morocco the the Gambia, but that is just the background to a beautifully written account on the Sahara and its history. His ability to observe keenly and to gain so much from the people he met, make for fascinating reading. Travelling as a teenager with little money, he enters areas of towns that few of us would dare, giving us a remarkable insight into the living conditions of out poorer cousins... Settle down with Michelin 169 and 953 and enjoy a beautifully written description of the Sahara and the experience of travel ... You will learn much, I promise you."
The book, written in my early twenties and first published in 1996, covers not only the personal experience of solo desert travel (in the days before GPS!), but the history and culture of the people of northwestern Africa, from hash-smoking Berbers in Morocco's Rif Mountains and the few Saharawis still remaining in the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, to the truely nomadic Moors of Mauritania, a plethora of Senegalese ethnic groups, and refugees from elsewhere in West Africa.
As Mauritanians say by way of greeting, bekoum hela - radiance on you!