WEIGHT: 64 kg
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It was a long and wild ride that took us through twenty countries over days. We were asked a lot of questions by different people we met during the trip, some about the perceived dangers in West Africa , some about visas and logistics, but most were about money.
The answers to those questions are a no and b none, but they might have paid us not to go. Pumba needed a pretty serious scrub and quite a bit of repair work which Oscar was fortunately able to do himself UJs, swivel joint seals, cam belt, engine pulleys, water pump, wheel bearings, brakes, rust removal, diffs — to name a few.
We ended up fitting a second battery in the engine bay and wiring in a separate plant deep cycle battery in the rear of the truck for the fridge and electronics. One of the most striking things about life in Africa is the way people make do with what they have, and do it with absolute panache. We tried to absorb this mentality as much as possible, because while you will need a fair bit of stuff in order to live on the road long-term, almost none of it needs to be fancy or branded.
We bought basic camping gear from budget sports store Decathlon three bottom of the range camp chairs which lasted perfectly well and head torches , everything else like pots, pans and cutlery we just took from our house in Ireland and emptied into the truck, easy! We bought two new water filters for the fitted filtration system, but everything else we already had with us or made do without for a time. For the six months between leaving Ireland and arriving in Nigeria, we cooked exclusively on camp fires and dug ourselves out of ditches with a broken chopping board, which until we hit the wet season, actually did a pretty good job.
When we finally got to Nigeria and treated ourselves to a 3kg gas cooker and a spade, it cost us way less than it would have in Europe. Post Pumba break-in in Senegal, covered by insurance. You should check your government foreign affairs website for the latest info, but the UK does particularly good visual maps of red zones in West Africa.