Day 41: St Louis

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Wed 15 Dec 2010 20:57
Day 41: Wednesday 15 December 2010. Zebrabar, St Louis, Senegal. N15 51.848 W016 30.773 Distance driven 47 km
Today's mission was to either get an extension to our Passavant or to get our Carnet de Passage stamped by Customs. Martin admitted that he had been complaining to the Ministry of Tourism about the Carnet problems as it was affecting his business. As a result he had become persona non grata with Customs.  He kindly arranged for a charming young French lady, Isobel, to accompany us to see the Chief of Customs in St Louis.  Isobel advised us that tomorrow is a public holiday and all Government offices will be closed, so no chance of getting to Customs in Dakar within the validity of our Passavant!
When we finally pinned down the Customs Chief , in dingy offices in the old French garrison, in total darkness because of a power failure, Isobel charmed him into giving us an extension of the Passavant until next Monday.  We still have to go to Customs in Dakar on Monday but that gives us some time to relax here and enjoy  the tranquility of the Zebrabar.  We took the opportunity of being in St Louis to do emails and to get a lubrication service done on the Land Rover - engine oil change and filter, inspect oil levels in the differentials, gearbox and transfer box, clean the air filter and change the diesel filter; about £62 all up using my filters.
Back at the Zebrabar we met a German traveller who had come in from Mali and he had been issued with a 15 day Passavant. The Oasis truck arrived tonight via the Diama border; their Carnet had been stamped but they were still subject to a 48 hour Passavant - the system seems quite random and ridiculous.