Close encounters with the president

The town of Kent, almost directly south of Freetown by a bit may have budget busting accommodation, but it also has perhaps the most beautiful beach I’ve seen – ever. Devoid of rubbish, empty of people, yellow-orange sand and views of the hills that greet the sea. That night I heard the reassuring sound of the ocean for the first time in a while.

My visit to Moyamba, a little way in land, was uninteresting except for this: sitting in the front seat of a poda-poda minibus there’s some police activity at the roadside. A crowd gathers. A fight perhaps. A small motorcade rolls by slowly, just a couple of motorcycle outriders, Toyota pickups, and a gleaming black limosine. There is a heartfelt cheer from the crowd, and a presidential hand waves through the lowered rear right window!

Moyamba, like many of the towns I pass through, would never be on the tourist trail. Its like someone from Sierra Leone travelling to Britain and spending time in Milton Keynes – no sense of history, no historic buildings, nothing of interest (ignoring the concrete cows), just people getting on with living. I’m sure Milton Keynes has a pub and a restaurant though.

Libya’s Liberation Day was spent resting in Bo, Sierra Leone’s second city. Its difficult to stay near to the coast here, like Guinea-Bissau, as much of the country is deadend roads that lead to a single town and then require travelling the same way back. That for instance, is why I’m now back in Bo, having visited Mattru Jong yesterday, and hope to reach Potoru and some monkeys tomorrow.
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