[ Makeni, Sierra Leone]
Hello Boys and Girls, and many joyous greetings from my new favorite jam: Sierra Leone. What a place this is! The three-day transit from Kambia to Makeni was simply outstanding.
As you might imagine, I took the long way around, on the smallest roads I could find. Also as you might imagine, I had no idea what I was getting myself into…and therein lies the magic. I encountered everything from muddy single-track wending its way behind villages, to wide, gravel logging roads, horrifically maintained with knee-deep potholes full of water. I spent one night in a disused NGO compound and the next in my tent, on a stranger’s front porch.
Also, ummm, hills. Lots of those, and I’ve got the throbbing quads to prove it. Ibuprofen is my friend. (Considered updating my Facebook relationship status, just to see if it will post “The Transglobalist is in a relationship with Ibuprofen” to my timeline. Thought better of it.)
Highlights of this segment: rain; mud; wading a small river; canoeing across a much larger one; being summoned by two village chiefs; rain; being recognized in Kamakwie by someone who had stumbled across my journey on Facebook; mud; the Rice Road; mud; the third day’s sunshine—revealing the greenest, lushest landscapes I’ve ever seen.
I’m spending a few nights here in Makeni, which turns out to be a nice substitute for Freetown: it’s big enough to have a city’s vibe and services (ATMs! So much for the 411 I got in Kambia), but without, y’know, the millions of people and scary, bike-eating traffic. Before you know it I’ll be off for the mountains on even smaller roads than the ones I rode in on. My kind of adventure, that.
Your Muddy Buddy,