Saturday, October 12, 2013

Back to Faya

Last night my friends flew into town again and offered me a quick trip to Faya since they had to deliver some equipment and had space for an extra passenger on their plane.  Of course I jumped at the chance to return to Faya and was on the ground for a couple hours this morning.

In the few weeks since my last visit the N'Djamena area appeared significantly less green from the air but Faya was still exactly the same- an oasis in the middle of orange sand dunes and baked mud plateaus.

While in Faya I was told of the gold rush in the nearby hills which had brought hundreds of people to the region and have rented all the locally available SUVs.  A lot of provisions were in short supply and needed to be brought in from N'Djamena by air. Near the center of town at a large spring 30-40 men were resupplying with water and washing clothes before heading back into the desert.  

 In the low dunes right outside of town we also saw herds of camels being loaded into trucks to be carried into Libya where they will be sold.  The trucks would back up to a sand dune and drop the tailgate so the camels could walk directly onto the truck avoiding the need for loading docks or ramps. Its interesting how camels are still traversing the centuries old caravan routes across the desert but now in the back of a truck.
 Some of the locals were also telling me stories of the nearby (250km away) lakes with hot springs or another 350km away with Nile crocodiles but nowhere near the Nile river.  They said if I had two weeks and would pay for the fuel they would take me to both lakes.  I wish I had the time and the money!

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