. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: October 10, 1998

Saturday, October 10, 1998
Tambacounda, Senegal to Kaliforou (Border), Guinea
Senegal's FlagGuinea's Flag

Kaliforou (Border), Guinea:
Latitude: 12° 37' 22" North
Longitude: 13° 41' 30" West
Altitude: -10 feet
From Seattle: 7002 miles
Lodging: Camp - In Bush

Today's Travel:
Countries: Senegal, Guinea
Regions: Southeast Senegal, Fouta Djalon
Route: Bush Taxi: Tambacounda - Diaoubé; Diaoubé - Kaliforou (Border - en route to Labé)
Start: Tambacounda, Senegal
Stop 1. Diaoubé, Senegal
End:Kaliforou (Border), Guinea
Linear:114 miles
Weather: Overcast / Rain

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 548
Linear Dist: 126627
Countries Visited: 38
Regions Visited: 158
More stats...
Hotels: 154
Friends / Family: 154
Camping: 43
Hostels: 141
Transit: 49
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 1980

Journal Entry:
Early start, quickly got a taxi to Diaoubé where I could catch a taxi to Guinea. No one will take me to Koundara, they'll only drop off at Labé even though they go through Koundara. I think it's because they can charge more, although the claim was they don't want to have to unpack / pack. Found a taxi at 11:50, sat at the car lot until it was full at 4:50. A full car in this case meant sixteen people (including the two drivers) in a Pugeot 504 (small station wagon). I was lucky (i.e. early) enough to score a window seat, but this was a mixed blessing. The roof curves and there isn't enough head room for me on the side of the seat so I have to hunch over or bend my neck in weird directions - either very quickly painful, especially on the rough roads.

The ride to the Senegal border was mostly over rough dirt roads, but not to bad. It took a little over two hours to get to the border, and the crossing was relatively painless (although in hind sight it was obvious that things were much slower than they needed to be with the hopes for a bribe). From the Senegal border checkpoint the roads got worse, much worse. I had two separate people at different times apologize to me for Guinea's roads. Shortly after crossing the border it started to rain - hard. I was beginning to worry about the roads, there was no way we were going to be able to make it if the rains kept up. We spent an hour getting to the Guinea border station(probably less than five miles).

The border station apparently wasn't open so the taxi parked and everyone got out. I was a little surprised when I was told we'd spend the night there. Everyone else was prepared for this, silly me I thought we'd be getting to Labé late at night or maybe early the next morning. Anyway there was no way for me to get to my pack which was buried in the load on top of the car. Luckily I was wearing pants and it wasn't cold. Someone lent me a very stinky blanket (think the worst gym locker smells) which I wasn't going to use but decided it'd be better to sleep on than the ground. There was a thatched roof that kept the heavy rain off of us, but we were still sleeping outside and the frogs and spiders seemed to have a special affinity to me. The spiders were these huge (bodies close to an inch in diameter) round things that moved so fast you couldn't react to them. I'd see one three or four feet away coming towards me and it would be on my leg before I could even start to lift my hand - it was like something from a horror movie. The frogs were these tiny (maybe half an inch long) brightly colored things that were as cute and amusing as they were annoying (I had to brush one off my face several times before it gave up).

Sometime very late the rain stopped. The sounds were incredible in the forest around us and that entertained me for awhile, then the mosquitoes came out. About this time it also got cold and I was happy to snuggle down in the smelly blanket to try and stay warm and avoid the little vampires. needless to say I didn't sleep much, although judging from the snores no one else had any problems.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Guinea
CIA World Fact Book: Guinea

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