Always in the deep woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is an ancient fear of the unknown and is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into. What you are doing is exploring. -- Wendell Berry

The TRIP: GUINEA - wonkifong --> MALI - bamako, djenne, douentza, Dogon Country --> Burkina Faso - ouagadougou, bobo-dioulasso, bala, ouagadougou --> GHANA - tamale, mole national park, tamale, yeji, volta lake ferry, akosombo, accra, green turtle lodge, elmina, cape coast, accra, hohoe and wli falls --> TOGO - kpalime, atakpame, lome --> BENIN - cotonu (transport stop) --> NIGER - niamey, tahoua, agadez, camel trek in aiir mtns, niamey --> BENIN (abomey, grand popo, ouidah, ganvie, cotonou) --> CAMEROON (douala, buea, top of Mt Cameroon, limbe, sangelima, yaounde, kribi, douala) --> MAURITANIA (nouakchott, atar, chinguetti, camels into the sahara, terjit, choume, ride the coal train, nouadhibou) --> MOROCCO (western sahara, dakhla, agadir, essaouira, marrakesh, imlil, summit of jebel toubkal, fes, chefchaouen) --> cross the Strait of Gibraltar --> Malaga, Spain --> fly to Geneva, Switzerland --> Les Grangettes, France
Click for a map. Updated April 30, 2007

dimanche, juillet 02, 2006

Farewell Portland

I could not have asked for a better last week in Portland as I readied myself for this upcoming adventure. Saturday topped it all off. The day began with an early morning put-in on the Clackamas River. With three others, I paddled all day. It was one of the best river days that I have had in Portland. The water was warm (by Oregon standards), there were few other people, and the day was absolutely beautiful. After kayaking, I had some last errands to run - I have condensed everything I own to one large backpack, a day pack and a small bookbag, and then met up with others on the Portland Waterfront Park for the Blues Festival. Sitting on the lawn overlooking the Willamette River and listening to good live music as the sun set and dusk creeped in was beautiful. Portland is truly an amazing city.

I am now off to Philadelphia for a few days visiting family and then staging (orientation) begins. I finally get to meet the other people who will be sharing this experience with me and learn a little more about what to expect. On the 7th, I have a visit to the medical clinic for a special treat of shots, etc before being bussed to NYC to fly out. I will arrive in Guinea on July 8.