[ Conakry, Guinea ]
In the weeks since last we spoke, much has happened, and I’ll let the images fill in most of the blanks. I will leave here tomorrow afternoon with three shiny (and expensive) new visas in hand: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire. More on that in a later post.
The transition from Guinea-Bissau to Guinea took me along the most remote roads I’ve been on yet, and across the sketchiest border crossing I have encountered in my life thus far. A small snag there forced me to backtrack for a day, which I did by hitching a ride with my village host’s cashew truck. The crossing itself was fantastic, on single-track in the middle of the jungle, and I spent almost a full day between my Bissau exit point and the Guinea entrance point, which involved a massively stoned soldier guarding a tiny thatched-roof hut and shocked beyond belief to see a non-local emerging from the trail.
Otherwise, it was pretty standard fare: getting ferried across a massive, glassy river in a sinking dugout canoe, the usual village stays, the long-awaited arrival of the rainy season, a truly unexpected encounter with American missionaries who’ve been living behind a village in the rainforest since 1991 (I spent the night on their…waterbed?), and an ill-advised-yet-totally-worth-it shortcut through 30 miles of untrafficked jungle.
From there it was an easy uphill ride to the mining city of Fria, where I met a friend of a friend and ended up staying for a week–enjoying the company and hospitality of the local Seventh Day Adventists (some of my favorite pics are from that stay).
After that I finally made it to Conakry, where I’ve been staying with the family of the Gambian magistrate. The stay here has been equally eventful, including a couple days of massive street protests against power outages and rate hikes that involved police in riot gear and lots of flying rocks. That all ends tomorrow, though, and so now, at the last possible moment, I’m trying to catch everyone up and get some photos uploaded.
I hope you’ve all been doing well,
Best from Guinea,