Senegal and Guinea-conakry
A fantastic country
I am welcomed with open arms into Senegal, a fantastic country where I make my first stop for photos at the African Renaissance Monument.
Here visas come into play, along with the first problems of my journey, so I make the most of my opportunity to see the city in the meantime. Not only is Dakar universally renowned for the historic importance of the legendary Paris-Dakar Rally, but it also marks the westernmost point of continental Africa.
Having visited the country while waiting two days for my visa to be issued, there is nothing left for me to do but head south and finally enter Guinea-Conakry.
Something has changed, and now I have the feeling that I really am in Africa! First up in Guinea-Conakry is a day spent in Labé. I greet everybody I see in the city, as is the custom here in Africa, and even make a few young friends.
African children are full of life and content to play with very little. Although technology is non-existent here, they are happy, with beautiful smiles as joyful as they are surprising.
From Labé, I head south again along the N5. The road is covered in worn tarmac with holes and ditches that make the journey extremely dangerous, particularly when lorries pass in great clouds of black smoke and dust.
A violent downpour strikes in the afternoon, inspiring me to stop in a safe place for the night… much better to be in my tent than driving through the dark for three hours!
After a night in my tent, sheltering from a rainstorm that leaves me in no doubt I’m in the wild heart of Africa, I move on to Kissidougou. The city is a whirlwind of chaos and doesn’t seem very safe for Europeans.
However, I believe that everybody should experience a journey like this first-hand: seeing Africa up close like this can’t fail to make an impression.
Here in Guinea-Conakry, there is no electricity during the day, and sometimes none at night either. What’s more, I have some money problems here too as the city’s only ATM is out of service (as is often the case here in Guinea).
After some help from a gentleman in blue overalls, I finally manage to exchange some currency at a local bank, which I’d never have found by myself, and after filling up with fuel I set out for Nzérékoré. The road is good, though a few kilometres are no more than a dirt trail.
Here in Nzérékoré I must meet Pierre to obtain a document called a “Laisser-Passer”, which is needed to enter and exit Côte d’Ivoire as its borders are officially closed…