20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

Gare Routiere

Presidential Palace (former)

New building

Football tree


Main Road

Africa Queen

Sometimes, probably more often than Iºd like to admit, touring Western Africa is just one dilapidated city after another, and hereªs another (and now bloody Portugues keyboards). Bissãu appeãrs not to have power cuts but power ins, itªs been on twice today each time for less than an hour (Generator in this cafe). Its a harmless enough place qnd quite friendly, a market trader actually gave me a cigarette today instead of asking for one, but the signs of the recent civil war are quite evident and the place is hideously overpriced for what you get. Last night I had a private room with en-suite etc, today Iªm paying double to share with two others and have an outside bathroom with no running water. On the bright side I think itºs carnival here on Friday.

Getting here was a bit of a farce, my two Asian travelling companions insisted on getting a minibus to the border rather than paying for one all the way to Bissau. This meant that the trip ended up at least 2 hours longer than necessary and involved 3 changes, the old guy from the trip to Zig was in one of the minibusses, I think he's started to become a bit of a globetrotter. There was one moment of humour though at one of the many police checkpoints they made the drivers turn the engines off. When we got the go ahead to move on the engine wouldnºt start, then the van behind couldnºt get going and the next until we ended up in a convoy of churning starter motors. They had to take it in turns to roll back down the hill to jump start them.

I was wrong about carnival, we had missed it the day before we arrived but we were in luck in another way as the Ferry to the Islands was running and was going to Bubaque Island on the Friday.

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