17/10/89

DAY FIFTY-SIX Once again we were away early to avoid some of the heat, heading north towards the first major town, Maiduguri. We got there at about 10:00 and spent two hours at the bank trying to change money. After taking all that time to change 4 traveller’s cheques, the slimy little geek in the Bureau de Change decided he didn’t want to buy our hard currency. Luckily, a lady in the car-park came over and said she would change our money for us.

We got some diesel for the truck then parked on a side street while we took turns looking around. A stand next to us sold ice-cold Coke, Fanta, ginger ale etc and we bought some fiery satay sticks from a vendor on the corner. We also found a supermarket selling RIBENA and MILO¹

Russ, Skip and Ian left us to spend a few days looking around on their own and the rest of us decided to night drive until we reached Kano. The afternoon was baking hot but I made myself a possie [comfortable position] in the aisle and lay there reading a copy of Newsweek which I nad bought in Maiduguri. Bette Davis died last week and there was a mass exodus of refugees from East Germany into Czechoslovakia, but there doesn’t appear to have been any major world crises in our period of being incommunicado. 

We stopped in the late afternoon for cold drinks at a wayside service station then drove on towards the sun, setting huge a fiery behind the scrubby trees of the plain. Just after dark we stopped at a “truck stop” for a mouth-burning meal of goat stew and rice, washed down with a lot of Coke.

Everyone slept as we drove on through the cool night air and we arrived at the Kano Tourist Camp at 2:30 AM. We pitched our tents and had a quick wash then slept. 

¹ Ribena and Milo are both western products, something we’d seen very little of on our journey so far. Ribena is a blackcurrant cordial and Milo is a chocolate powder that is made up with either hot milk or hot water into a very delicious drink.

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