|Left for border and Guinea Bissau...decided to save $10 US and go by minibus again...BIG MISTAKE!! Driver told us he only needed 7 more riders so we went for it and 2 hours later(11:30) they had added 13 more(24 total) and piled the top 3 to 4 feet high with all kinds of baggage, bags, barrels, stuff! Severely overloaded Bon was having a fit and when they crowed another fellow into the seat I was in it was too much so I wanted out...15 minutes later when driver said we could not get our money back and he put the 4 of us in one seat bench(the others all had at least 5) we settled in...at the border by noon and thru by 1 pm on the road to Bissau, no pot holes! Stopped 6 times at least for customs or who knows what, had to get out, the authorities looked at passports - only really ours and one other Gambian - then we piled back in to continue.
Saw many 6-8 foot high termite hills and much more undergrowth and dense bush...hot and humid 90 each, huts here are similar to Senegal but mud or mud brick walls and no enclosures, huts are much larger, usually square with just a door in front. Again, mangroves decimated by who knows what...
In Bissau(the capital), this once colonial Portugese country recently devastated by civil war which ended in late 90s and virtually no real economy, now slowly slowly beginning some steps back into more secure economic times since recent elections. United Nations and UNESCO very evident everywhere.
However, while we were here we heard about the increased presence of drug lords and the traffic from Latin America into Europe...as it turns out, this country is really a failed state and is now totally controlled by drug king pins. See story:
Visit Site on Drugs Worldwide
We checked in to Aparthotel Jordani where we met fine English speaking folks, one fellow who went to US in Boston on govt scholarship 10 yrs ago, another who recently finished English computer course here(both working at the hotel). Even tho it is expensive ($20 each) they agreed to include breakfast and they are very helpful incl storing our bags while we head over tomor to archepeligo in a local paroque(long commuter boat with top = looks like the fishing boats but bigger. Leaves tomor. am at 9 on high tide, a 4 hour trip over to Bubaque, the main town on the islands. We shall see if we stay a nite or 3!
Went to the Guinea embassy and since we wanted our visa in a day, the hurry price was $45 US each...only 2 hours!