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Anindya Mukherjee recently became the first Indian to cycle across the Sahara, riding 2015kms. in 23 days ( Total distance covered 2300kms in 28 days). In this book, he recounts his experiences from this epic solo journey across the great desert. The road connecting Morocco-Western Sahara-Mauritania-Senegal ( aka The Atlantic Route) was his route of choice.
Anindya intended to begin his journey from Rabat, Morocco and travel all the way through the Sahara before finally finishing in Senegal. However, a few set of unexpected surprises forced him to change the starting point of his bicycle journey. He began his ride from Guelmim (which is also known as the Gateway of Sahara) Morocco and finished in Dakar, Senegal. Due to complications in his visas, Anindya had exactly 17 days to cover a distance of 1300 kms before his Moroccan visa expired and another 10 days for covering close to 900kms across Mauritania. Thus began this unique adventure. Being under pressure for time, his journey became more like a race .
On travelling a distance of 724 km, Anindya reached Bir Anzarane – a small ghost township located in the disputed area of Western Sahara. Like every cyclists, Anindya also needed to first get his name registered at the camp there. It was at this camp that he learnt that he was the first Indian national to cross the Sahara on a bicycle.
‘The Sahara Soliloquies’ consists of Anindya’s daily journal entries during his ride across the Sahara. This book also elaborates on how he planned and prepared for the trip. At the very end of the book, one can also find his daywise itinerary. During the journey, Anindya used to write quartets in his mind, just for fun. The Sahara Quartets are also included in this book.
Anindya’s journey proves that it is possible to cross the Sahara by its western edges in a bicycle without having to camp or cook. It is possible to reach a human post everyday, be it a village, a manned mobile tower, a police post, a shop in the middle of nowhere or a town with all the modern amenities. However, one should always carry bivuac arrangements for accidents and emergencies.
The Sahara Soliloquies: Across the Sahara on a Bicycle
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