After spending the night at Toleu village on the edge of Lac de Guiers, two boys and I paddled out to the reserve to collect manatee food plant samples. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day, there were lots of birds on the lake and lots of manatee feeding sign in the plants along the water's edge.
The tow back to Richard-Toll went relatively smoothly; the rope did snap twice but we were able to re-tie it and continue. We towed the car to the only hotel we knew in town, and Niaga and our saviour both recommended garages that could assess the damage. Long story short, the next day we found out most of the engine had been destroyed from running without enough of the correct oil. It was devastating news. The repairs are extremely expensive, the parts need to come from Dakar (hundreds of miles away), I don't carry alot of cash with me (I can't even dream of anyone taking a credit card), and there is almost no recourse with the two guys in St Louis who caused this entire disaster. This is what our engine has been reduced to! It's an unfortunate reality of working as a field biologist- we don't usually have much of a financial buffer for big disasters such as this.