This is part of the Seventh section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Guinea
11/3/01 Onto Pitche and Bissau. the section of road from the barge to Pitche non existent winding through the trees and where it became too sandy a new track had been formed, from there to Bissau reasonable black top. The comparable wealth of Conakry vanished in Bissau.
12/3/01 Guinea Bissau's last coup occurred as recently as June 1998 led by the sacked army general, and involved neighbouring countries of Senegal and Guinea. Fighting lasted for over two months in which 250,000 people were displaced and Bissau became a bombed ghost town. While the people have moved back the majority of buildings in the city centre have had no repairs and are empty. Accommodation is expensive as is food. Signs on the edge of towns display land mine warnings and the whole area has little appeal. We were here mainly to get a Mauritanian visa but the asking price of $US 100.00 each deterred us. Being an ex-Portuguese colony and next to French speaking countries little English is spoken other than by those fleeing problems in their own countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone.
13/3/01 Heading north the ferry at Joalande was not operating
forcing a 100 km detour to Mansoa and Bula. Luckily the ferry at Sao Vicente
was partially working, being pushed and pulled by an old fishing boat tied
alongside. We rode past kilometres of cashew plantations and coconut palms
over mangrove flatlands seemingly unaffected by the war leaving behind the
destroyed army tanks and trucks still roadside leading out of Bissau. An
easy border crossing out and into Senegal, the Senegalese particularly efficient.
The brick road meandered through more mangrove swamps, slowly sinking into
its bottomless mud. From Bignona the asphalt has again been let go to total
destruction with not enough tar left to pick a path for two wheels let alone
four with most cars driving a gravel track off to the side.
Move with us to The Gambia
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