FRENCH COU­PLE PASS THROUGH PORT AL­FRED ON THEIR AMAZ­ING HIKE THROUGH AFRICA

Talk of the Town - - Front Page - ROB KNOWLES

Ayoung cou­ple are on the fi­nal leg of an epic jour­ney from their home in France to Cape Town, which they un­der­took for the ex­pe­ri­ence and to ex­pand their knowl­edge of the world and its peo­ple.

Ti­touan Saglio, 26, a qual­i­fied es­tate agent, and Maeva Salmon, 27, a lawyer, de­cided they would like to see life from a new per­spec­tive, and to do so while they had no other com­mit­ments that might pre­vent such a jour­ney in the fu­ture.

The cou­ple vis­ited the Talk of the Town of­fices last week to chat about their jour­ney.

Start­ing off from their home of Tour in France on Jan­uary 17, the cou­ple trav­elled through the coun­try and on into Spain where they caught a boat to Mo­rocco.

“We just wanted to travel and hitch-hike through Africa,” said Saglio.

“There were other places we con­sid­ered vis­it­ing, such as South Amer­ica and Asia, and might well do so when we fin­ish this trip,” added Salmon.

The cou­ple said they had saved up for about five years and then sold ev­ery­thing so they could travel.

“We have to live fru­gally on the jour­ney,” said Salmon.

The cou­ple es­ti­mated they spend less than R250 per day while in Africa and added that this was per­fectly pos­si­ble in many parts of the con­ti­nent while, in oth­ers, it was a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult.

Hav­ing ar­rived in Africa, the pair toured the west coast of the con­ti­nent and trav­elled to Ghana around the western bulge but, from there, trav­elled by plane to Kenya as they had had re­ports that it was un­safe to travel into some of the coun­tries in cen­tral Africa.

“We sur­vive on the good­will of peo­ple who are will­ing to of­fer sup­port or a place to sleep for the night, even if that means just pitch­ing our tent in their gar­den,” said Saglio.

“We didn’t have a fixed plan, so chang­ing from the west to east coast of Africa was eas­ily done.”

“Ev­ery­where we have gone, peo­ple have been very sup­port­ive,” Salmon agreed.

The cou­ple said they en­joyed Kenya, es­pe­cially Mom­basa with its pris­tine beaches and beau­ti­ful weather.

From Kenya, the next place of call was Uganda, fol­lowed by Rwanda and Tan­za­nia and the port of Zanz­ibar and Dar es Salaam.

Trav­el­ling through Africa, Salmon said they had ac­tu­ally learnt English.

“We did English at school, but that was only enough to greet some­one. It has been eas­ier learn­ing English from the Africans as they tend not to have [in­flec­tion/mod­u­la­tion] when they speak as English speak­ers do, and this is sim­i­lar to the way we speak French,” said Salmon.

From Tan­za­nia, the cou­ple moved through Zam­bia to Zim­babwe and, fi­nally, into SA.

Asked if the cou­ple were go­ing to write about their travel ex­pe­ri­ence, Saglio replied they were not plan­ning on do­ing that.

“This is just about learn­ing and trav­el­ling, as well as en­joy­ing our­selves,” he replied.

“We de­cided to stick to the coast and avoid the big cities. We are on our way to Cape Town from where we will take a plane back to France to be with our fam­i­lies for Christ­mas,” said Salmon.

“We haven’t told our fam­i­lies yet, so it will be a sur­prise for them,” added Saglio.

We sur­vive on the good­will of peo­ple who are will­ing to of­fer sup­port or a place to sleep for the night

Pic­ture: ROB KNOWLES

THE FRENCH CON­NEC­TION: Ti­touan Saglio, left, and Maeva Salmon are trav­el­ling through Africa to gain some life ex­pe­ri­ence and popped into Talk of the Town last week to chat about their jour­ney

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