Got up early and was on my way by eight. It took an hour to hike back to town. It was a beautiful walk and it wasn't too hot yet, but I was thankful for my ride last night - I didn't realize it was quite so far. Waited at the taxi station for five hours and finally got really pissed off after being told the second time that the car was ready to leave and then left sitting for thirty minutes. Since it was already two o'clock I didn't think I was going to make it to Kankan before dark and I wanted nothing to do with the two taxi drivers so I decided I'd spend another night in Dabola and be at the taxi stand at six tomorrow morning. Then since it was so early I decided I'd start walking towards Kouroussa / Kankan and if I hadn't found a ride or someplace to stay in two hours I'd turn around and walk back - at least I'd get my exorcise!
I walked for a little under an hour when the second vehicle to pass me picked me up when I flagged it down. It was a container truck and I shared the cab with the husband (driver), wife, and daughter while the two sons rode on top of the cab (!?! Often crawling down on to the hood to talk with dad - while driving). They didn't speak any English but I figured out they were going to Siguiri which meant they could drop me off at least as far as Kouroussa. That was excellent, especially since the taxi that I stormed away from hadn't passed me yet. So I was in a good mood, I figured I'd get to Kouroussa then either stay there or it should be easy to catch a bush taxi the rest of the way to Kankan. What I forgot was WAWA. A little under half way to Kouroussa (~80 km from where they picked me up) the truck broke down.
The problem was something to do with the rear drive shaft. I was starting to worry as now I couldn't walk back to town and no taxis (including mine) had passed. But the solution was pretty easy, take the rear shaft off. Both sets of rear wheels were driven so the truck could still drive with only the front driveshaft. This procedure took an hour and a half, and afterwards we couldn't go to fast (I'm guessing we averaged less than 30 mph), but it worked. I got dropped off in Kouroussa about 8pm, only about thirty hours after I had planned on being here yesterday afternoon! I found an absolute dive of a hotel (definitely using my own sheets here!), no running water or electricity, and it's very hot, but I'll live and it's less than US$5 a night.
The taxi I was waiting on back in Dabola never did pass us so I'm assuming it never got the last two people and therefore didn't leave. I think today is the first time I've ever hitch hiked (at least where I've flagged a moving vehicle down). I don't think I'm going to make a habit of it, but it was definitely the right thing to do today. The driver wouldn't even take the 5,000 Guinean Francs I offered for petrol. Tomorrow I'll get an early start and get to Kankan before noon. I realized a solution to my Malian visa a problem last night. If I fly into Bamako they give visas at the airport, unlike the land borders, and there's a weekly scheduled flight from Kankan that leaves on Sunday. That will be perfect if the flight still runs and it's still on Sundays (my guide book is five years old and things change fast around in Africa), and there's room on the flight. I was hoping to get to Kankan today early enough to find out. Since tomorrow is Saturday I might have to go to the airport to find info...