South through Guinea

I was less saw the next morning, and by evening  I’m back to my usual self. There’s a sudden flurry of activity as everyone tried to get under cover before the next storm hits, which is longer than tonight’s electricity holds out for. Then, with a deep rumble of thunder the rain starts the corrugated iron roof of the chop bar sing, and the traffic all but disappears. Equally suddenly, with another deep rumble, the rain reduces so it can’t be heard, the traffic returns, and the electricity comes back on. It was the sort of storm that makes you believe the Noah flood possible, though normal for this time of year here.

From Boke I get a six-place shared taxi to Boffa. That’s a normal car with me and another in the front passenger seat, 4 in the back, and also for a while a child who travels for free and therefore doesn’t count. I have to wait 2.5 hours before we get going. A record to date.

On the way further south there is a choice at the cafe of lipton simple (black tea) or lipton mayonnaise, which puts me off by name alone. Dubreka is home to the River Soumba. Its a wonderful relaxation after a hard couple of days and the best bath I’ve had yet. I only get out when fully wrinkled. Best of all, its raining again while I bathe.

From Dubreka I head to Guinea’s capital, Conakry by minibus. The road is extremely bad and consists mainly of potholed mud. It is either for this reason, or because of it, that the road is being worked on. Conakry is filthy dirty, and dirt poor. There are no beaches back on the Atlantic coast at last, just rocks and rubbish. But I have running water – the first time since before Bissau city.

There isn’t a lot to see in Conakry, as the nation is held together with hope things won’t get any worse (I don’t think they will) that’s not surprising. The locked old cemetery of Boulbinet, probably locked since it was abandoned by the French in 1946, looks picturesque enough from the hustle of the impromptu stalls that line its external walls.

The final town of any size before the border is Forecariah, which has nothing to offer the visitor. At least people are friendly, with lots of greetings just wanting to say hello, and where I was going.

‘Sierra Leone’ I say.
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