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

lundi, mars 12, 2007


When traveling between cities in Guinea, I typically found myself crammed into a minivan or bush taxi. These experiences allow one to think of centimeters of personal space as a luxury and appreciated the bonding time of almost sitting on a stranger’s lap or holding onto someone else’s small child as curves are quickly taken. Recently, my long distance travels have been on large Greyhound-like buses. These travel mostly paved roads (a rarity in Guinea) at high speeds carrying a number of passengers appropriate for the number of seats. Moving in style!
Small distance travel has recently been done in bachets, or small trucks with a covered, open-air bed. Human passengers seem to be an afterthought as sacks of corn or rice, animals or whatever else are piled into and on top of the vehicle. One of my latest rides included 12 people, one large cow, a goat, 20+ chickens, two motobikes, three bicycles, sacks of something and lots of bags. One regret is that I did not see how they managed to get the cow into the bed of the truck, but check out this vehicle in my photos.