Bivouac and Epilogue
Heart of Budapest-Bamako, social gatherings and celebrations
Some locations were truly spectacular, in the middle of the desert like in Morocco and Mauritania, or in open fields among the baobabs, ready to host the over 300 vehicles and the cluster of motorcycles at each arrival.
Although most of the time I arrived in the middle of the night, with my stomach in knots from tension and fatigue, my eyes caked with dust, my legs shaking from too much exertion,. I always found everything to be beautiful. Often it took me only 5 minutes to set up the tent, unroll the sleeping bag, take everything off, put on my hat, take my little stuffed tiger under my arm, a gift from my friend Vale, and collapse from exhaustion. Other times the arrival was gentler: “Only” 7-8 hours of riding and you had “already arrived”. Be careful though, because you will find yourself drinking palinka in the middle of the afternoon (a sort of Hungarian moonshine) singing songs and going from tent to tent to celebrate!
Either way, waking up is always tragic!
A few hours of sleep, rub your eyes, half an hour to pack everything, get dressed and start again. As if it were the most obvious thing, as if I had never done anything else in life. And you feel good. Incredibly good.
It could have all gone wrong, but everything went well. I fell several times from the seat of my CRF 250 Rally Honda. I often found myself driving towards a truck coming in the wrong direction, animals quietly lying in the middle of the road, huge holes or sudden interruptions. I cried in despair on a few endless pitch black nights with blistered hands. I didn’t wash for days, and I ate more dust than bread. But everything went well.
Thanks to a good dose of luck combined with experience and planning, even if minimal. The ad hoc equipment and gear also counted a lot. Without it all, I would never have been able to get to the end of this wonderful adventure.