Guinea - Vine bridges, elusive chimps and Tutu

Trip Start Aug 14, 2013
Trip End Feb 01, 2014

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Flag of Guinea  ,
Sunday, December 15, 2013

On leg 2 of our journey across West Africa, we were thrilled to be entering Guinea once more, being greeted all the while with the joyous calls from kids of Blanc! Blanc! (white) who would leap up from what the were doing to run alongside the truck waving enthusiastically all the way. We have come to know the Guinean people to be amazingly beautiful, welcoming us with wide open arms - we love this place!!

We spent our first few days in the town of Nzerekore, sleeping none other than in the car park of a hotel next to  the generators which run all night - fun!!  Unbeknown to us as we arrived, one of our friends had contracted malaria; thankfully as we were staying in the same town for a few days she was able to receive immediate medical treatment and didn't have to camp - though they were pretty stressful times, she made a quick recovery!

When not hanging out in the car park,  we strolled around the town visiting the local markets; seeking out artisan markets, which were only accessible through some woods and  what looked like a rubbish tip, in search of locally made mud cloth; eating at an awesome restaurant called L‘Calamatie where the owner Tutu filled our tummies with yummy food - we loved Tutu's food so much we bought her out of her yummy palm oil tomato sauce for our cook group dinner;  spying on Witch Doctor's and their tables filled with horns, dried animal pieces, bones and powder potions - we never did stick  around long enough to have them 'treat' us.

Leaving Nzerekore we visited one of the few vine bridges still in use by locals ferrying wares from village to village across the rivers - sadly due to deforestation, mining, building of roads etc. these bridges are being destroyed, here is hoping something will be done to try and save even a few!

Following the vine bridge we camped at a chimp sanctuary, where most of the group paid 60 Euros to visit the chimps in the wild - sadly the group would spend 3 hours sitting 100m from the truck waiting for the chimps to cross the road (they never did cross), the only glimpse they got of the chimps was of them high up in the canopy about 500m away viewable from a public road, so for those of us too tight to  pay, we still got to see them anyway.

No sooner were we getting into the swing of things again in Guinea, were we leaving once more, stopping first to camp overnight right on the border of Ivory Coast - we had arrived too late (4pm) and the Ivorian officials weren't willing to let us cross.

We love, love, love this country and cannot wait to return!!  Here's hoping it will be sooner than later - before too many people realise that this is a country to add to the must visit list!!
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