Is it really that long? I’m looking back in my journal. I pedalled into Dakar on Monday 8th March and planned to leave a week later. Instead I’ve spent the past 10 weeks off the bike recovering from a machete attack that severed four tendons in my left wrist.

The panniers are packed and finally I’m about to leave. Jon, who took this photo in Laos shortly after we met, is joining me on the road for the first week. We’ve never actually cycled together, but I feel reassured to have company. He’s also a Doctor, although I hope  his medical services won’t be required too much on the road.

Mentally I feel ready. I wanted to leave a long time ago.  Physically the wrist is something like 70-80% strong. Regaining full flexibility and movement is going to be slow. For that reason I’m taking it easy at first, if that’s really possible on the roads around Dakar?

My recovery in Dakar has been aided by the kindness of people I feel deeply indebted to. Most especially the American couple who’ve allowed me to stay  here throughout my time in the city. Their generosity and support has allowed me to continue with the challenge that I set myself from the beginning. I owe much to them for where I am now.

I aim to return to The Gambia and from there onto Casamance (Senegal). The rains will soon come and most likely determine my route further  south. Whichever way I go it will prove to be an adventure. First I just have to get moving again.