Day 26… Thursday 27 April
A short drive to Tambacounda along a quiet scenic road through several villages. Items being sold along the roadside included coal and timber. Checked into a nice hotel tonight – final day in Senegal before attempting the border crossing into Guinea. We also had the fuel filter fitted to Greta – the garage we found was brilliant and they recommended a local welder at a scrapyard a short drive away. Happily sat for a hour in a deckchair under a shady canopy surrounded by car engine parts. Kids were playing amongst the car wrecks. The welder wore no safety glasses and did not ask the curious kids to stand back while the sparks flew.
It is quite impressive the ingenuity to be found in Africa. We turned up at this Toyota approved garage which seems to mainly focus on servicing and whilst it is not their thing to being such installation work they were still able to help. There was absolutely no concern about liability of the part / install, no sucking air through their teeth whilst working how much they can charge you, or asking to come back in several weeks time when they can fit you in next. I’m pretty sure these chaps had never seen such a fuel filter before, but with a little discussion and looking at the installation diagram provided we were directed over to a scrapyard where there was a chap who would help. He spoke no English, I spoke no French, but with plenty of pointing, thumbs up, and so forth he managed to weld my bracket in place, with an additional support underneath to ensure it stays in place. The bracket also created some protection for the wiring loom which now rests behind the fuel filter.
Whilst he was welding his solution to cooling things down was a small kettle filled with water which he poured onto the metal parts and over the bracket being welded. All very old school but it worked perfectly.
And this chaps scrapyard was amazing, a place I’m sure our friend Mike would absolutely love. There were bits of old Hilux’s, Land Cruisers, Mercedes Benz, and more, all lying around slowly being stripped of parts to be used elsewhere. I think some of the Hilux’s had less rust on them than Greta. I’m sure if I had any other problem with Greta this chap would have been able to fix it or replace it.
I’m just hoping that when it comes to the next MOT back in England they don’t mind the new addition.