West Africa trip 1974

Published by old tiger in the blog old tiger's Blog. Views: 553

Since Skip gave me a link back for my old blog i am thinking of re writing some of my trips..
unfortunately i did not travel with a camera into Africa,India etc...so i rely on putting links...
let me know if you dig my blog..i do(ahah):grinning:

My trip to West Africa overland 1974
West Africa


Posting nr.1==preparing my Africa trip=Paris(France)

in 1974 i made a 5 months trip which included France,Spain,Portugal,Canarian islands,Spanish Sahara,Mauretania,Senegal,Mali,Upper Volta=nowadays Burkina Fasso,Ivory Coast,Niger,Algeria,Tunisia..a whole lot of adventures to write about..i wrote a letter to Cathy in Paris..she wrote back..i knew Cathy(a girl from Vietnam) from a Scandinavia trip..met her in Rovaniemi(Finland)i was welcome to stay at her flat in Oberkampf district..arrondissement 11..she got married to a dude who had been in Afghanistan..he worked for air France at Paris airport...first i went to Paris Nord by train in september 1974...and Cathy and Christian received me with open arms...Paris is a big city,interesting site seeing,musea,flea market Porte de Clignancourt etc..i did make all my necessary visa for my Africa trip=Mauretania,Senegal,Mali etc...i did visit the embassies of Senegal and Mali and made my visas ready...I've always loved Paris..big city with lots of charm..I easily found Cathy's adress..got my own key..to get in even..
nice little flat..she loved the music of Crosby,Stills,Nash&Young..now Paris..is allright..but it involved subway travell..and got info on vendange...vendange is grape picking..i got an adress in Beaujolais regio..Chiroubles..and Cathy told me..leave your stuff here in Paris..and go and earn some extra money in the vendange..so I did..I left Paris...after 6 days..reached Dijon the first day..and Chiroubles the next day..the vineyard owner payed 35 FF=French francs+3 meals a day+1 bottle of wine+free sleeping..I left my passport in Paris..I did not need a passport for France..I will tell you all how grape picking is done..and what happened..i worked 8 days..hitched back to Paris..stayed another 8 days in Paris..i recall my Paris days..got free food/lodging..great...on the way back from Africa...again went to Paris for 4 days..i recall it was beginning march...and damn cold..in fact I was broke..300kms south of Paris..on my return from Tunisia via Marseille..Cathy payed my train ticket to Brussels..from Paris..great folks..great girl she was...i tried to retrace her in the 90's,even after the year 2000..but to my surprise never got an answer back,maybe she moved to another adress??no idea...i still have to pay her back the 200French francs she borrowed me in March 1974 to be able to take a train Paris-Brussels...i feel a bit guily,folks...

posting nr.2==picking grapes in Chiroubles(Beaujolais)

So..let me tell you all..grape picking can be fun..
but it's not an easy thing to do..the owner signs you in..
you get a sleeping accomodation,usally most people used their
own sleeping bag..it was a bunk bed system..comfortable enough..
because in the evening one really gets tired..
in the morning it's early rising..breakfast..baguette(French bread)
with jam or cheese..and coffee..then it's starting towords the place
of action..a tractor took us there..now..everyone got a small curved knife..
and a basket..to put in the grapes..one starts at the bottom
of the hill upwards..in the beginning it's big fun..a dude with a huge
type of basket called *la hotte* in French..walks around to collect
our filled baskets..we all had a joke about an old grandpa...in short
trousers..who picked with us at the start...at the top..we did not joke
anymore with this dude..he finished his row 15 min..before any of us..
he picked grapes for 25 years....so..we learnt our lesson here..
at noon..we were taken back home..for a meal..it was nice to talk to
all these folks of all walks of life..they were tramps..travellers..or even
professional pickers..like the old dude..I guess we all did it for the little
extra money..food at noon..was French..good..the bottle of wine..
was heavy...and went to my head at times...wooohah..red wine..
made me lazy..and we still had to pick the whole afternoon..
we all came back tired..it's working in a bended position whole day long..
the grapes..pick allright..but if it had rained at night..
the bunches became slippery..and picking was no fun then..
we all spent our evenings talking..or going to the one and only local pub..
for a beer..or another glass of wine..I would suggest to you all..
if you ever get the chance to do a *vendange* please try it out..
it's great fun..you meet people who really enjoy doing this..
after about 8 days picking..well..I had enough of it..
I got payed my wages by the vineyard owner..
and I returned by hitchhiking..to Paris..
where I stayed again in Cathy's flat..for 8 days..
the big adventure towards Africa..was just beginning to take form..
I guess..i was ready for it..it was a big adventure trip anyway
P.S...to give you all an idea about grape picking(vendange)==see following link...
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posting nr.3==Paris=a worthwhile city to visit..

Paris..is huge..but a marvelous place..if you know how to discover it..
during my stays in Paris...I went to stroll around day after day..
I made my visa's for Mauretania...and other African countries..
but inbetween..i took time to visit the classics..Eiffel tower..
impressive architecture really..I loved Montmartre,Notre Dame..
use this link for a visit to Paris... Your text to link here...
musée de l'Homme is an etnological museum which needs a good visit..
so does the Louvre..Champs Elysées..the little roadside brasseries..
i went one day with Cathy and her dude to Porte the Clignancourt..
a flea market...good strolling..Paris is divided in 20 arrondissements..
I was staying in the 11th..Rue du Folie Méricourt..just a side street..
just around the corner a bakery(boulangerie)a grocer store...
i bought a piece of bread..some cheese..and set off for the vast Paris..
it needs planning really..it involves subway(métro)as well..
one day..we went to Noisy le Roi..a suburb of Paris..
where Cathy's parents were living..her Dad was Vietnamese..her mother French...
loveley people they were..they even served Vietnamese food..
i recall nuoc mom(a smelly fish sauce??)by 6 p.m..both Cathy+Christian
finished their jobs..and we spend some time listening to music..
or just talking...but..my days in Paris were ending..
I was gonna go and start my trip towards Barcelona (Spain)
had to cross the whole of France..and some very funny thing happened..
the second day..after I left Paris..will tell you all later....

posting nr.4=leaving Paris direction Auvergne....

Finally..I packed my rucksack..and left for Porte d'Italie..
Paris got a huge ringroad called boulevard phériférique..
Porte d'Italie gives acces to the road towards Orléans..
Orléans was not easy to reach that day..I left bit late in Paris..
hitchhiking was not that great as well..got a ride to Etampes..
stood there as well for a while..reached Orléans in the afternoon..
in Orléans I took direction Nevers..it follows the river Loire..
I could not get to Nevers..somewhere around Briare..I got stuck..
and slept somewhere outside in an empty building..it was cold..brr..
next morning..took my own breakfast..all these trips I carried a small
mini camping gas to make coffee..good thing..a cup of hot coffee..
does wonders to start a cold day..usually my breakfast was nothing
more then a piece of bread with jam or cheese..but it was O.K..
so..this day..started from Briare towards Nevers..I was lucky..
got a ride soon enough..but bit after that..got stuck for a long while..
stood for more then 2 hours on the same spot..got picked up..
and got a ride towards Clermont Ferrand..bit before Vichy..it became
dark..and was looking for a spot to put my sleeping bag..
I saw an empty peasant stable..had to cross under a barbed wire..
it was in fact a shed...with a wagon with hay on..ideal..because..
it's off the ground..and it was bloody cold..next morning..
I got the surprise of my life..i got picked up by the local police..
they came in a jeep...and told me to pack my things..they drove me
to the police station...they really made me look like a fool..
my rucksack was turned upside down on the floor..in a rough way..
my passport and identity controlled..but I was in order of course..
and they treated me as a piece of shit..they made a statement..
that I had trespassed public property..some peasant had seen me..
and reported to the police..they called me names..like tramp..
vagabond..gypsie etc...in fact..they had fun..they were in power..
in their eyes...they just couldn't face the fact..I was a traveller..
in my own way..it's the game of envy of freedom..they lacked..
I kept myself serious..no way to get excited...I had money enough..
so after 3 full hours in that fucking police station..they drove me..
to a railway station...and told me..take a train to next town...
I said O.K..but I did not..they left...and I went back on the road again..
the next ride..I remember...some chick(Helen?)picked me up..
in one of these 2 PK student cars...she drove me to her place where
she stayed with her boy friend..they were hippies at heart..
and gave me shelter...and food..for the night..they lived in Volvic..
village in the Auvergne known for mineral water..close to Riom..
loveley part of France..it even got old volcano craters..
I told them my story of the police..they said..les flics...fuck them..
so..next day..I was gonna try to get towards St.Etienne-Valence...

posting nr.4==going into South France=Provence,Languedoc

so..after Volvic..got a ride to St.Etienne..
I was gonna go down to the valley of the Rhone river..
loveley regio of France...Valence-Mont?limar...
now...Montélimar is well famous for a nougat(sweet)
it reminded me of Granna(Sweden)I did not have time..
to either taste or buy it..got on to Avignon..aww..just visit..
loveley city..once there were popes here...religion,you know??
the regio of Provence stole my heart..it's a sunny part of France..
I reached Avignon that day..but I did not sleep..
sous les ponts d'Avignon..very famous French song..
pont=bridge..I'll get you all a link about this place..
just travell along a bit with me,will you??
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I don't even recall where I slept..my memory slips???
I was gonna go for the Languedoc regio next day...
that's Narbonne-Perpignan and Spanish border..
link for Provence==a wonderful regio for tourism in France....
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posting nr.5==moving towards Spain via South of France

so..Avignon..the Provence..bit south is Arles..well known..
for Vincent Van Gogh..he cut off his ear there..while having a fight..
with his friend Gauguin..this regio is known as the Camargue...
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I made a detour to see Stes.Maries de la Mer-Aigues Mortes...
Ste.Maries is known for an annual gypsie festival..in this regio..
you will find wild horses,flamingo birds...and real wild nature..
but..I guess..that's more for summer months..I did not enjoy it..
in the time of the year I went trough it..anyway..I moved on..
towards Montpellier-Béziers-Narbonne..Languedoc regio..great..
some very strong wind called the mistral can blow here...
I had no time to visit Carcassonne..i've heard it's a walled city..
never seen it..probably never will??I reached Perpignan that day..
it's a city where one can know..that Spain is very nearby...
stayed overnight in the youth hostel..i needed a bath really...
next day..I would reach Le Boulou-Perthus-La Jonquera(Spain)
my aim was Barcelona city..lovely city..
the gysie fair Stes.Marie de la Mer...i saw a lot of Roma in Romania..strange folks if you ask me..
gypsies are keen on violin music,flamenco style dancing etc...

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posting nr.6==crossing into Spain

Perpignan has got charm..I found..it's bit of a mix..
of France+Spain..one can feel here...that Spain is close by..
got a ride to around Le Boulou..I recall these typical trees...
don't know the name in English??I crossed the border..into Spain...
no problem these days..but hitch hiking in Spain..
was a nightmare..extremeley difficult to get a ride..
I did get a first glimpse of Spain..got a ride to Figueras..
stood there for a long while..got to Girona...and finally...
Barcelona..I did not do the Costa Brava coastline...
well known for Lloret de Mar nowadays..typical holiday resort..
on Barcelona town..I'm gonna dedicate another entry..
it's one of my favorite cities in the world actually...
I stayed 3 days in Barcelona..slept in Ciatudella parc..
safe enough..but third night..I slept in a building construction..
I thought..i was safe in there..until some guard...made his round..
he never would have found me..but his dog did...bwaah..
I had to move out there..in the middle of the night..not funny..
anyway..that's part of travelling..gypsie style..

posting nr.7==discovering Barcelona

Barcelona..is not Spanish..it's Catalonia..the inhabitants of Barcelona..
are proud of their heritage..Catalan spirit..art..language..everything..
it's a big city..with almost parallel streets..lots of pubs,bars,restaurants
and lots to see for the tourist..I started walking the Ramblas..this is a
1,6km long walking street...always full of strolling people..always full of
animation..buskers,street artists,souvenir shops,pubs..tapa bars..
now these tapa's...are typical Spanish..little snacks..sandwiches..
filled with bacon,fish..deliciuous..try a tortilla..cheap..and filling...
I went in to the covered market along the Ramblas..called mercado de
Boqueria=what a feast for the eyes..food,cheese,fruits,really colourful
I stocked up some bread,cheese,ham..
the Ramblas ends at Plaza de Catalunya big square... Your text to link here...
I wandered around the barri Gothic..old part of Barcelona city..
little streets around the cathedral..very touristic in fact..I found a restaurant...
called Casa José..I guess it was so dirt cheap to eat there..very popular
with rucksack tourists in fact...if you ever visit Barcelona..don't miss..
the art of architect Gaudi..this dude..started a church called Sagrada familia..
in fact up till today..it's still not finished..because Gaudi died in 1926..
he was hit by a tram..visit his funny house architecture..
ask for Casa Mila..casa Battlo..or visit Parc Guell..I'll try to find a link..
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I met some Americans on the Ramblas...and we went for sangria and beer..
cerveza negra on Plaza Real..loveley square with palm trees..
in the evening..I picked up my rucksack at the railway station..
and slept in Ciatudella parc..huge parc..lots of space..
another link for Barcelona Your text to link here...

posting nr.8==last day in Barcelona town..

Second day..after a safe sleep in the parc..
I went to see this masterpiece of Gaudi=sagrada familia(church)
in fact..I did not like it...the structure looks very unreal..
but...the architectual value..I would say..Gaudi was a genius!!
it's a maze of spiral stairs..very funny views and angles indeed..
if you all ever do Barcelona...don't miss it.. Your text to link here...
for the rest of the day..i just was loitering around the Ramblas..always a feast for the eyes..
in the evening..I went back to my sleeping spot in Ciatudella parc...
but it was freezing cold..my sleeping bag was O.K..but still..
I decided to look out for something else for next night..
so next day..I looked around..and spotted a building in construction..
no trespassing signs...wooohh..I remembered these fucking police near Vichy(France)
this building was O.K..I thought..well..I thought..
next evening at dark..I went in there...went deep down in the building..
and settled in a corner..it was warmer then the parc..around 1..
some German shipper dog traced me..funny sight,you know..
a guard shining in your face with a torchlight.and a huge dog..barking at you(ahah)
I was not scared at all..I spoke few words of Spanish..explained that dude...it was cold outside..
he said O.K..but..he chased me out anyway..
I can understand..he was doing his duty for his boss...
so in the middle of a cold Barcelona night..there I stood..back out..
I was thinking aboutgoing back to the parc..but I did not..it was to far to walk..
i think if i remember well..I did not sleep at all that night..
I decided to move out next morning direction Sitges-Valencia..
this regio is known as the Costa Dorada..tourist resorts enough...
will tell you all later on what happened..

posting nr.9=hitchiking south of Barcelona...

Leaving Barcelona..was a headache..it was really hard..
to get a ride in Spain these days..tourists cars..
were usually full..Spanish did not stop..it took me a while..
to reach Sitges..Tarragona..beautiful coastline though..
got a ride to Salou..this place is nowadays very well known
(mass tourism)bit like Lloret de Mar above Barcelona..finally..
that day..got bit of luck..got a ride to Castellon de la Plana..
and I slept..believe it or not..in an orange fruit yard..
nice sight to wake up with oranges above my head...bwaah..
these parts of Spain..are already bit milder in climate...
it was not that cold...I was aiming next day..
for at least reaching Alicante..or Murcia..but hitch hiking...
was damn difficult these days in Spain..
a link for Salou...and Costa Dorada tourist resorts..
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posting nr.10===hitchiking in Spain was damn difficult..

After Castellon de la Plana it's not that big distance to Valencia..
but it took me damn long time to reach Valencia...it's a nice town..
I recall palm trees..looks real tropical..some nice parcs as well..
it did not do any sightseeing in this city..the rate of getting on..
with hitch hiking and covering distance...was real low..
I tried to get out of Valencia..but did not succeed..
I slept at a beach called playa de la Malvarossa..it was O.K..during these days..
I bet nowadays..it's not possible anymore?police will pluck you from the beach?
Spanish people inland were bit suspicious about long haired hippies..
i guess now..that prejudice has gone too..the 70's was good for hippies,but the main foks frowned their face upon them..
in these little villages on the Costa del Alcazar(regio north of Valencia)all folks hold a siesta
at noon..and the weather was really mild..Spain got good climate conditions all over..
I was hoping to reach atleast Benidorm next day..that's the Costa Blanca..
very famous now for mass tourism..late 60's..it was just a fishing village..
I'll try to get a good link on Valencia..hasta la vista...ahah..
P.S...Valencia is famous for paella(food)What has made Valencia famous all over the world is the "Paella"
== a traditional fishermen meal that tourists now can find anywhere in Spain.

"Paella" is a rice course with typical Mediterranean ingredients..
tomatoes, vegetables, sea food and spices..
It is interesting to note that the most traditional Valencia paella does not contain seafood -
it contains chicken, rabbit and snails.

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posting nr.11==Alicante and hitching along the Costa Blanca

Valencia is a nice town..but I would not waste more time there..
as said before..I was slowly moving..i could have taken a straight
bus to the Costa del Sol..but I was thinking about saving my budget..
for Africa..i wanted to see Lisboa(Portugal)as well..before moving into
Morrocco..i had a plan to cross from Algéciras to Ceuta..then Tétouan..
Tétouan was know these days for hasjiesh trade..so was Tanger..
so after Valencia..got a ride to Gandia that day..that's all..could not
get any further..so I slept somewhere there..don't remember where??
next day..I was more lucky..via Benidorm(well known resort now)I got
to Alicante-Elche-Murcia..Elche is a nice place..I slept that day around
Murcia..climate was getting much better..link for Costa Blanca regio...

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posting nr.12==Costa del Sol+Portugal

Murcia-Cartagena-Almeria..was my aim for this day..
as said earlier not easy..I could get to Almeria anyway..
it's a harbour town..not very interesting...i got a short ride..
out of Almeria direction Malaga..slept on the beach of Aguadulce..
this regio is a real nice part of Spain..it's the beginning of the famous
Costa del Sol..well known by tourists nowadays...next day..i had put
my hopes of reaching Malaga or even Sevilla..this town=Sevilla is on
the way to Huelva-Ayamonte-Faro(Portugal)I was thinking of doing a
1 week trip into Portugal..mainly Algarve but Lissabon as well..
big detour in fact..because I hitched back via Badajoz(Estramadura)
from Lissabon via Elvas..then back down to Sevilla-Jerez-Tarifa-
finally Algéciras..ferry to Ceuta(Sebta)=Spanish enclave on African
territory..a long haul...and lots of adventures..finally..could NOT get
into Morrocco..returned to Cadiz..and boat to Las Palmas..which is on
the Canarian islands..from there there was a weekly crossing to the
port of Nouadibou(Mauretania)Western Sahara...was difficult..
Morrocco claimed this territory..and Polisario was activ there..
will tell you all later on what happened..
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posting nr.13==Sevilla(Spain)

So..I reached Malaga...even in these days..very touristical spot..
turnpoint for the Costa del Sol destinations like Torremolinos etc..
I did not continue on towards Marbella etc..but hitched a ride...
direction Sevilla..difficult traject..road splits to Granada..it took me
quite a while to reach Osuna and Sevilla..i decided to see this place..
took a small hostal(pension like hotel)I recall a very nice old lady..
pointing me out there was no hot running water..well..it was cheap
enough for cold running water..ahah...so..Sevilla..famous for this big
cathedral called la Giralda=ask for barrio Santa Cruz..i never liked all
these churches too much..but this one..is impressive..the little streets around..
are full of busy little shops,restaurants,tapa bars,flamenco etc..
anyway..I treated myself a cerveza negra=dark beer..in some pub..
Sevilla folks are very lively people..you can see the difference with the
north of Spain..same thing I saw between north and south Italians..
they just live more..they like to celebrate..i did not go to a flamenco
gig..usually quite expensiv..not for hippie rucksack travellers??
Granada and Sevilla are THE places to be to see flamenco dance..
I'll see if I can find a good link..usually flamenco is associated with gypsies..
wonderful people..these ladies wear these colourful robes...amazing..
I would say here..if you ever go to Southern Spain..
don't miss the triangle..Malaga-Sevilla-Cordoba-Granada..
it's really worthwhile exploring..one can see Moorish(Arabic)influence..
in the architecture..but also in the mentality of these people..
so..I was gonna make a trip into Portugal..Algarve=Faro etc..
will tell you all later..if you are interested?
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click to listen to some flamenco..it's 100% Sevilla+Granada

posting nr.14==Huelva+Faro(Portugal)

so..I left Sevilla direction Costa de la Luz=Huelva..
this Costa stretches from Cadiz towards Algéciras..
and was less exposed to mass tourism..might be different now?
close to Huelva is the little port of Palos de la Frontera..
nothing special..but historically it was the place where Columbus
started one of his discovery voyages..I recall as well the small ferry
i took from Ayamonte(Spain)to cross over to Vila Real(Portugal)
this regio is known as Algarve..and stretches from Vila Real..
towards Faro-Albufeira-Lagos-Sagres-Cabo San Vicente..
fantastic beaches..I did only hitch up to Faro via Tavira..
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I don't remember where I stayed in Faro..
in fact..I did not like thiscity too much..
Portugal these days..was less touristical then Spain..
nice people..difficult language..I spoke a few sentences..that's all..
faz favor..um bica=please..a coffee..obrigado..thanks..
I decided to hitch up north towards Sétubal-Lisboa...but I knew..
it was gonna be more difficult even then Spain..
the regio above Faro..was very remote as a tourist destination..
Portugese cars..did barely stop..or payed no attention to rucksack hitch hikers..
so..i was heading for Beja..set out from Faro..
stood few hours..got a short ride..with local youngsters..
they were just curious where I was going,I guess..
Portugese didnot make big distances..it was mostly from village to villlage..
Beja is on the main road from Sevilla towards Lisboa..
but was not easy to reach..damned difficult to hitch a ride...
I recall I slept out somewhere in between..
next day...I reached Beja..nothing much..provincial town...
Beja-Sétubal..I took a bus..I got sick of standing for hours along the roadside..
baahh..bus prices were dirt cheap..also if one takes a bus..
one sees the local folks..I recall in Portugal..old ladies..
dressed from top to toes in black..and with a hat on..tradition??
Sétubal..is like a short distance from the capital Lisboa..
in Lissabon(Lisboa)I stayed in the youth hostel..it was O.K.
I will relate about Lissabon town in next entry..

posting nr.15=Lisboa(Portugal)

so..Lisboa..stayed 2 nights at youth hostel..
lovely city it was..it has an old an new part..
Lissabon is on the Tejo river..the old city..
is worth exploring..ask for Alfama,Baixa or Rossio..
lots of narrow streets..little restaurants etc..
I did not do any musea..just wandered around a lot..
just like flamenco in Sevilla..it's fado here in Lisboa..
I'll try to get a link on that style of singing...
Amalia Rodriguez is a famous fado singer...
also Cesaria Evora sings that style...but she's Cape Verdian
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the barrio Alfama got lots of churches,a castle as well..
Oriente is the railway station of Lisboa..what's typical..
and very touristic in Lissabon are the tramways...
try to take tramway 28..I did not..but I think it must be fun...
I used to walk a lot in these days..kept me healthy,I suppose??
I went to see the bridge ponte de 25 Abril..one can see a huge
Christ statue overlooking the Tejo river and Lisboa..real nice..
Belem tower was a tourist attraction..did not go there..one cannot
see everything..around Lissabon Estoril,Sintra and Cascais are well
worth a visit..but I concentrated myself on the old part of LIsboa..
was gonna take a bus towards Evora...and then try to hitch to the
Portugese-Spanish border towards Elvas-Badajoz...
link for Lisboa Your text to link here...

posting nr.16==back to Spain(Badajoz Estramadura)

so..finally I left Lissabon by bus..towards Evora..
not expensive at all..but still..money went..
buses were quite organised..the railway system..
did not reach every place..but bus system did..
although i did not speak Portugese at all..
people were friendly and outgoing..
Evora..was a small provincial town..regio Alentejo..
people were poor in these days..mostly peasants..
but still..Evora got some charm..it's not the hustle
and bustle of Lissabon..or the Algarve...
I tried to hitch a ride to Elvas..which I got soon enough..
surprising..I thought..it was gonna be a lot more difficult..
Elvas..is close to the Spanish border regio of Extremadura..
this regio can be the hottest place in Spain in summer..
I was there during winter..so..no problem..
I recall I crossed the Portugese-Spanish border..
without any difficulties...and reached Badajoz..
where I slept outside somewhere..on the outskirts..
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direction Sevilla...yip..again to Sevilla..via Zafra..
was not gonna be easy hitch hiking..but..I was gonna try..
my aim was Sevilla-Jerez de la Frontera-Cadiz-Algéciras..
boat to Ceuta...and finally..crossing into Morroco..
but..that turned out..to be a bummer..
one can not get everything in life,is it?

posting nr.17==the southern tip of Spain=Algéciras...

Badajoz..regio Extremadura..can be very hot in summer..
it's maybe 10kms.from the Portugese border..
did not see much of these place..i recall it's on a river..
forgot the name..Zafra..inbetween Badajoz-Sevilla...
was not easy to reach..but I made it that day anyway..
it has got a castle..some of these provincial towns look quite nice..
it was getting sunny..the south of Spain,you know..
the next day..got a ride to Sevilla..and took a bus to the town
of Jerez de la Frontera..this place is known for sherry..
Your text to link here...
in fact...that same day..from Jerez I got a ride to Tarifa+Algéciras..
had to do that in 2 stretches...stood a while in Cadiz..
Tarifa..is very close to Morocco and the African continent..
Algéciras..was a busy ferry port..don't recall where I slept..
I believe it was in a small hostal..I did not like Algéciras that much..
next day..I was gonna try to get into Morroco..my initial planning
was crossing the whole of Morrocco and go via Agadir+Tan Tan..
into the Western Sahara(El Aaioun)but..this thurned out a bummer..
will tell you what happened in Ceuta later on..

posting nr.18==on the way to Tétouan(Morocco)

So..ferry Algéciras-Ceuta(Sebta)took about 40 minutes,I guess??
in fact this ferry reaches Frideq=few kms..from Ceuta..
all these ferry ports looked the same to me..busy with coming
and going from passengers,vehicles..I took a shared taxi to the
Morroco border..big shit there..one border official..said to me...
your hair is too long..only if you cut it..you can cross..
what kind of bullshit talk..obviously if I had showed some heavy
Morroco Dirhams banknotes..I could have crossed as well...
so..I was sent back to Ceuta..someone told me there...
try to cross as a bus passenger..it might work..so..I took a bus ticket...
but same scenario..could not cross into Morroco..
corruption was well practised..even in 1970's...
so bye bye..Morocco..went back by ferry to Algéciras....
and booked myself a bus ticket to Cadiz..I was gonna take a boat
from there direction Las Palmas(Gran Canaria)
I had heard there was only 1 crossing every week..
if I got lucky..I should be able..to move out soon??
to get a ticket..I was thinking that could be a problem..
will tell more later on..

posting nr 19==Cadiz-Las Palmas(Canarian Islands)

Cadiz..is a nice town...when I reached there..
I first inquired about boats to Gran Canaria(Las Palmas)
it turned out they sail once a week..ferry starts in the evening..
next day is a whole day at sea....and then following day arrival
in the Canarian Islands..I booked a place in a 4 persons cabin..
it also turned out..that I had to stay 2 night in Cadiz town..
to wait for this boat to take..I took a small but very clean hostal...
i recall it was at the third floor....and no elevator..I crossed Cadiz
before..but just went in transit..now..Cadiz is an important harbour
and I liked the old city very much..old city means narrow streets..
Your text to link here...
the local beach was called Caleta..
but it's not like these big beaches on the famous costas...
for the rest..the usual stuff like in other Spanish towns..
plaza's..churches..musea...tapa bars..but always local identity...
typical Spanish mentality..Cadiz was usually quiet around the siesta
hours..but in the evening..it became very lively...I took cheap food..
a tortilla..or some tapa's..so..the day came..I went aboard this huge
ferry towards las Palmas..in my cabin was a French Canadian dude..
he was a rucksack traveller as well..funny French Montréal accent..
the crossing went smooth...and Gran Canaria...well..
it was 20 degrees there..a real good climate here..
me and the Canadian looked around for a free place to sleep..
we found a cave like place...very remote..and absolutely safe..
it was quite a climb...to reach this spot..and out of town..
we stayed there for 4 days..my boat to Nouadibou(Mauretania)
was only going on settled days..I had to wait more then a week..
the Canadian was staying on in the Canarian Islands..will tell you all
about my adventures in Las Palmas..and my visit to Tenerife..
a link for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria...i remember playa de las Canteras
Your text to link here...

posting nr.20=Canarian Islands..

So..Las Palmas de Gran Canaria..beautiful town..
palm trees..big beach boulevard..lots of tourists..
good weather..tropical vegetation..the Canarian Islands..
were already touristical in the early 70's...nowadays..
it's a tourist boom..lots of Germans in the 70's..
Las Palmas reminds me of a typical holiday destination..
the inland of this island....was undiscovered these days..
me and the Canadian guy went once outside Las Palmas..
to look for a job..in a fruit plantation..but nope...
I had to stay 8 days on these islands..because my boat..
to Mauretania was going only on certain dates..
so..mostly we wandered around in Las Palmas..I recall..
the harbour..some German..took tourists on his boat..
for shark watching or fishing..in the evenings..
all rucksacktravellers gathered in town..I recall a French guy..
waiting for a job on a boat to go to Brazil..
food..was cheap..if you took measures not to indulge..
some tapas..a coffee..a beer..one day me and this Canadian
took a ferry to Tenerife..just a trip of 2 days..
capital is Santa Cruz de Tenerife..nice place..
but I prefer Gran Canaria..real nice place=Las Palmas..
the Canary Islands consists of Gran Canaria,Lanzarote,Tenerife,
Fuerteventura,La Palma and Hierro...and some smaller islands..
it would take time to visit all these..some islands have volcanic backgrounds..
in Gran Canaria lush vegetation..fruit plantations..
especially bananas..Tenerife and Gran Canaria are very tourist minded..
I recall my days in these islands as a good experience..
P.S..in this link you will get an idea..of Las Palmas..
I recall Las Canteras beach vividly...we slept in a cave..
overlooking a beach..it was difficult to reach...but safe..
but the day was near that I was gonna take that boat..
towards mysterious Mauretania..I was wondering myself..
how it was gonna be..the boat..would take few days to reach..
La Guéra-Nouadhibou..we had a stop in Vila Cisneros..
I believe this place changed name..and is now called Dakhla?
more about this boat trip and Mauritania..later on..

posting nr.21==boat Las Palmas-Nouadibou(Mauretania)

The boat would take more then 3 days to reach La Guéra..
we boarded in Las Palmas harbour..I recall one dude from the U.K..
and a couple from S.Francisco(Issa+Eric)these U.S.A.citizens..
did NOT make any visa for entry in Mauritania..I made my visa in Paris..
I knew they were gonna be turned back..but..they were gonna try it..
the boat trip itself..went in smooth sea..I don't recall much of it..
so..we were anchoring inbetween in Vila Cisneros(Western Sahara)
this area was very much in turmoil..Polisario front wanted independence
while Morocco claimed the Western Sahara territory..
it was a former Spanish colony with El Aaioun as capital..
Morroco took over in 1976..but the rebels of Polisario gave a hard fight
back..they are still claiming their Sahrawi land..and now are in refugee
camps in Algeria..I've heard it's NOT possible to travell into Western Sahara..
the border close to Mauretania is full of landmines etc..
even in the early 70's there was a tension..
the tension about to whom the Spanish Sahara should be annexed was a very difficult political game...
i think nowadays is it Morrocan terrritory?or Polisaria front?i don't really know...
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El Aaiuon got some very rich mineral underground...and mining.. for it..
was a foreign affair??like the iron ore mines in Zouérate(Mauritania)
so..reaching Vila Cisneros..I recall a little harbour..sunny weather..
and one could see the fish swimming..very clear water...
Issa was a loveley and jokefull chick..she had very long hair..
which she put into a ponytail..her friend Eric was a nice dude as well..
The U.K fellow was a real adventurer..he was gonna do some Sahara
crossings into Mauritania etc..my goal..was reaching black Africa as
soon as possible..the journey through desert Maureatania was rough..
but..it was quite an experience..I will tell more in the next entry..
as expected..Issa+Eric could not enter Mauritania..they took the boat back..
me and the U.K dude went into Nouadibou town..finally..Africa..
but Mauretania is an Arab speaking Muslim country..woman covered
from top to bottom in long robes and veils..that would change a lot after
crossing Rosso into Senegal..there black Africa begins..
we stayed I believe in a small hotel in Nouadhibou..
I recall these mint tea ceremonies..in the hotel..
where tea is poured into small cups..very sweet tea..
food was based on rice mostly..with mutton or lamb..
we were gonna take a free train ride..
from Nouadhibou towards Zouérate..an adventure??if you ask me??
an iron ore mining town..the train is more then 2,2kms.long..
I was gonna get down in Choum..travel to Akjoujt and Nouakchott.
by truck or taxi??I thought that hitchhiking in this desert was crazy..

posting nr.22==Mauretania and a special train trip to Choum

Nouadhibou..was called Port Etienne before..
it borders Western Sahara..not much of an interesting town..
mostly harbour and fishing port..as said before..don't recall.
the name of the hotel where I stayed..I went to the bank..
to change peseta's and FF=French Francs into local currency..
funny name=ouguiya..dived into khoums...the rate they gave me..
towards the peseta's was awful..anyhow..local currency..is needed..
i got into a restaurant where I recall the excellent couscous meal..
for the rest..well..Nouadhibou..nothing special..I went to the train
station to catch that longest train in the world..some passengers
coaches are attached..but what a hassle..people fighting for a seat??
I got myself into one of these huge container like wagons..it's a free ride..
this train is about 2,2kms long,I was in there with the U.K dude...
and some turban clad local Mauretanians.. link on the longest train i've ever been in..
Your text to link here...
the iron ore train Nouadibou-Zouérate via Choum...
it's a horrible ride really..starts in the evening..
it got really cold at night..lots of noise..dust..lucky I could tie some
towel before my mouth..and even then..I swallowed desert sand..
train goes to Zouérate..iron ore mine..the containers return empty..
after being loaded for transport at Nouadhibou harbour..
the trip to Choum..where I got down..took half a day..
I was happy to get out of these wagons..quite an experience..
in Choum..pick up trucks(Toyota)take you to Atar and Akjoujt..
funny people these Mauritanians..they only know Arabic...
it was a windy ride towards Atar..so I reached Akjoujt...
I got lucky there..very lucky...met some French dudes from Nice..
they told me..they knew some friends in Akjoujt..French girl..
who was working for some organisation..I could stay over..
for the night there..and continue with them..all the way..
to Dakar(Senegal)woohah...we even had a party with French wine,
cheese etc..these dudes knew the chick who was working in Akjoujt
for some project..don't ask me which??nice French chick she was..
the 2 French dudes..were very funny..they told me..
they won a car in a poker game..a Peugeot car..
they drove it all the way from Nice to Dakar..to sell it with profit..
these days..French cars in West Africa were highly valued..
I did not believe much what these French dudes told me..
funny people..but..I got my free ride to Dakar..
I guess they were just adventurers..that's all..
we left Akjoujt next day..bit of a hangover from that wine??
we reached Nouakchott..capital of Mauritania...
I did not like it at all..it looked like a refugee camp to me..
I heard it was not a safe place..lots of theft etc...
we did not stay there..but went on to Rosso..
Rosso..is the border into Senegal..quite a hassle..
lots of corruption,smuggling,bribery..
we had to take a ferry to cross the Senegal river..
but on the other side...Saint Louis..and finally black Africa..
aww..I did like Senegal very much..will tell you all later on..
a link for Mauritania.. Your text to link here...

posting nr.23==crossing the Senegal river into Rosso(Senegal)

So..finally..black Africa..the ferry(bac in French)
took about half an hour..crossing the river Senegal..
colourful people these Senegalese..it's very hectic..
coming from a strict Muslim place into Senegal..well..
it was very different..we drove towards Saint Louis..
very old town with a history...once capital of this country..
Dakar got that title in 1958,I believe??we went to the tourist
office in Saint Louis..we booked into a nice hotel..
it was called hotel de la Poste..bit colonial nostalgia..
it was not that cheap..but we all needed a good shower..
weather was very hot..wandering through the streets of this town..
is a delight..lots of old colonial houses with beautiful verandas..
we stayed 2 nights in St.Louis..there are a few nice bridges..
the pont Faidherbe is worthwhile..lovely view on Senegal river...
the bar of hotel de la Poste..got quite animated in the evening..
the local hookers played their game..in these days..
HIV was not known off..bit risky stuff..many foreigners..
had a one night stand with a hooker..only to find out..all their stuff..was stolen..
these ladies of the night..looked nice in their boubous..
a boubou is a local dress..like a maxi skirt..they wear it with grace..
a foreigner is called a *toubab*here..and every foreigner..
is considered a capitalist?so..they try their games...ahah...yip..
St.louis was nice..I liked these 2 days..even better then the hustle..
and bustle..of Dakar town..Dakar...well..be carefull in Dakar..
these French dudes...hade a great time in St.Louis..
their journey..was ending in Dakar town..they were gonna sell..
the Peugeot car with benefit..and fly back to France..
oh my..these dudes..were real adventure seekers..
I didn't blame them...but...my road..was still long..
some people..even up till nowadays..judge people...
often..they get a wrong idea of it..because..
they only imagine..how a person really is inside...
to judge someone..you have to face them..
eye to eye...and these French dudes from Nice..
they gave me a free ride..from Akjoujt to Dakar..
and I was thankful for that...saved me lots of money..
these dudes were great..over and out...
I'll try to find a link on Saint Louis... Your text to link here...
and I'll meet you all in bustling Dakar..
woooh..Dakar..bwaahh..watch out...
I can write a book about that city..

few good documentaries on Senegal... Your text to link here...

Your text to link here...

posting nr.24==Dakar..

so..the Sandaga market..that's something else...
typical African market..very colourful..very mysterious..
I saw lots of gri gri=magical potions..amulets etc...
strange things..tiger claws,chicken feet,snake hide etc..
they use this in witchcraft..mostly to ward off evil..
it could be also some Sura's out of the Holy Koran..
put into an amulet..worn on the body for good luck..
some whitchcraft is also like voodoo(juju)..bad thing...
I talked about these facts with a student..who spoke..
fluent French...in Senegal people believe in magic...
a local marabout(Muslim leader)has got lots of power..
Islam is different in Senegal..more tolerant..
and mixed with local traditions..the Mouride sect..
founded by Ahmadou Bamba..is a good example of this..
if you ever could witness the Magal festival in Touba..
don't hesitate..but it will be hectic..very hectic..
Amadou Bamba is a *phir*a Muslim saint...in Yoff..
there's a *phir* sanctuary on the beach...it's a Lebu tribal
community..I went to Yoff in 1986..with my wife...
I won a quiz on Belgian television..and a free trip to Senegal..
if you're interested in healing etc...go to Yoff...close to Dakar..
it's an animistic ritual..where posseded people..are cured..
it often involves animal sacrifice..ceremony is called *ndeup*
I never witnessed it...and I don't think I'm very much interested
in all that voodoo stuff..but just to give you all an idea..
West Africa got lots of mysterious rituals..nothing for us....
so..this student told me..if a husband finds out his wife is cheating..
they go to one of these whitchcraft doctors..and put a spell..
no need to tell..whether this works or not...lots of swindlers...
ah..yip...Sandaga...opened my eyses a bit..about all this...
well..I would not recommend the fish section in Sandaga...
lots of fish i never saw..but I had to keep my fingers on my nose..
also herbs..very strange potions...all kind of mixtures..
fruits..vegetables...handicrafts..souvenirs...it's all too much..
for the eyes..and very hectic..watch out for pickpockets as well..
I enjoyed Sandaga market..if you can talk with the people..
it's O.K..it's not a place to walk around with a Nikon camera..
I saw some balafon/kora music players...aw..lovely music it was..
it took me quote a while to finish Sandaga..it's a test for the nerves..
markets in Dakar are usually noisy,chaotic,but interesting anyway
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allright..but it was worthwhile anyway...after that..I went into the
Medina..with the Grand Mosque..built in Morrocco style..
tourists were not allowed when I was passing by there..
another market is Tilène..again typical African..bit like Sandaga..
the currency in Senegal was CFA=African Franc..coupled to French
Francs=FF..I don't recall..either it was the double..or half value??
in the afternoon..I went to the railways station of Dakar..nice building..
found out about trains to Bamako(Mali)I intended to take the train to
Tambacounda..or even truy hitchhiking to some town where I could
take that train..it was just a plan in my head...Gorée island...
was not for that day..I intended to visit it next day..
instead I went to Ifan museum...well..to tell you all honestly..
it showed some nice masks of various tribes of Senegal..
this museum is worthwhile..if you're interested in masks,cermonial
gear of tribes,clothes,funeral and wedding rituals etc...
I was really tired that day..went back to the hotel...
these French dudes...sold their Peugeot with benefit...
and were gonna fly back to France..funny dudes...
will tell you all more about slave island Gorée later on
another good link for Dakar town... Your text to link here...

a market in DakarYour text to link here...==

posting nr.25==Gorée island(Dakar)

A must for every tourist visiting Dakar is the ferry towards Gorée island....
So...I took that ferry crossing towards Gorée..
took about 20 minutes..lots of hustlers..
trying to talk you into a guided tour etc....
Your text to link here...

some pictures=== Your text to link here...
this small island...was so touristical..for the fact..
it breathes peace..from the hustle/bustle that was Dakar town..
it's very small..but the walk here..was wonderful..narrow streets..
very peaceful..lovely vegeatation..nature,you know...
I guess about a 1000 people lived there..in typical houses..
Gorée is connected to the slave trade..
slaves were put here in a prison like building..
awaiting their shipment to the colonies..*la maison des Esclaves*as they called it.
is nothing more then a building where the slaves were kept..until their transport..
it's a sad thing..to stand there as a white skinned person.
hearing the guide explaining the cruel treatment of the blacks..
I felt ashamed..if you ask me??it's a building dating from 1786...
so...very ancient history..furthermore there are a few musea
on this tiny island..a few restaurants..all in very quiet settings..
one could even spend the night in some hotels..good price,I guess??
there's a church..a mosque..a Governors house...mini Dakar really??
I liked walking trough the little streets..talking to the people..
I had spend almost half a day for this trip..it was worthwhile..
I returned back to Dakar town..by ferry of course..and intended.
to leave Dakar..next morning..I was gonna try to hitch hike..
I knew..it would not work...but I was gonna try to reach the town
of Tambacounda..long haul..via Diourbel-Kaolack...
I was gonna take the train to Kayes and further on to Bamako(Mali)

posting nr.26==Dakar-Kaolack

yip..I tried hitch hiking out of Dakar..
got a ride first to Pikine..then to Rufisque..
but then..I got stuck..stood for hours...
not a very funny thing to stand hours in the scorching heat..
so..I dediced to go to the bus station of Rufisque and take..
a bus towards Mbour and Kaolack..Rufisque is an harbour..
lots of factories..industries..did not like it that much...
but Senegal..well..the people make it colourful..
Senegalese are very friendly..very curious people..
I always laughed when they started their funny French...
in the bus station from Rufisque..I met a Catholic Senegalese..
he told me to visit Keur Moussa..which is above Rufisque..
it's a Benedictine convent where the services are done..
well..in African style..with kora/djembé? etc...bit like gospel??
I did not go there..here is a link www.keurmoussa.com
so..I took a taxi brousse(Peugeot)towards Mbour-Kaolack..
quite an adventure..to sit as a foreigner..amidst the locals...
feels bit awkward in the beginning..but..they started joking..
about my long hair and beard...and they all smiled..
people can connect with smiles..words are not needed..
the trip towards Kaolack went through typical landscapes..
quite arid..I saw some baobab trees...there's a legend..
botanical name=adansonia digitata.. I'll get you all a link..
this tree is very much honoured by Senegalese..
it has very funny structure..as of its grown upside down??
everything of this tree..pods..branches..leaves...
Senegalese..have a way..to use all of it..the baoabab tree
is also given magical beliefs..often a griot will praise..
it grows mainly in Madagascar,but also in West Africa..it got health values..
Your text to link here...
Your text to link here...
under a baobab tree..so be it...anyway..I reached Kaolack..
it's a town on the Saloum river..it's a center for peanuts..
Senegal depends a lot on tourism..but also on peanut cultivation..
it was bloody hot in that town..I stayed in some local cheap hotel..
Kaolack has got a real nice market..where I saw funny stuff..
the local Senegalese woman..buy love potions(afrodisiacs)
extracts of lion or tiger claws,gazelle horns etc..funny...
some local dude...explained me...all these things...
I was determined to reach Tambacounda the next day..
that's East Senegal..and there was a train to catch to Kayes(Mali)
I thought of taking a taxi brousse..it's a share system..
they start when they are full..sometimes 12 people..
packed like sardines..in a Peugeot with 8 people in it??
it was cheap anyway....so..why bother hitchiking then?

posting nr.27==Kaolack-Tambacounda-Kayes(Mali)

so..taxi brousse to Tambacounda via Kaffrine..
good ride..but it was very hot..and dusty sometimes..
Tambacounda is in the East of Senegal..
nearby is a national parc called Niokolo Koba..
did not go there..it's a huge fauna/flora parc..
I met a dude from Uruguay who was working in Tamba...
he told me that Tamba can become terrible hot..
it was hot when I passed through anyway..one has to adapt...
nothing special to see here..exept the African market...
these African ladies looked colourful..they sell from fruits..
to vegetables..to all kind of stuff..I stocked up a bit for fruits..
and got into a supermarket for some other stuff...
which I could use on my trip between Kayes-Bamako..
I decided to take that train to Kayes..and then continue to Bamako..
I met 2 French dudes..they were gonna do the same thing..
so..we decided to travell together a while..always safer..
I stayed 2 nights in Tambacounda..and we got that train to Kayes..

about Tamba=== Your text to link here...
what a hectic matter..a train in Senegal..we had reserved seats..
but still lots of hassle..to get onto the train..rules..often..
didn't existed in these days..I guess??the train left...
and via Goudiry-Kidira(border Senegal-Mali)we reached Kayes..
it was quite a journey..but cooling a bit against the extreme heat..
no trouble crossing the border..they took our passports..
and told us..to recover them at the police station in Kayes(Mali)
Kédougou is Bassari country..it's located on the Guinee border..
this tribe has got very secret rituals..initiation rituals etc...
worship of the ancestors..animistic rituals for birth,death etc...
they use all kinds of strange masks as well..typical villages..
so...finally...we were in Mali..very interesting country indeed..
Kayes..booh..I could not bear that heat...

posting nr.28==Kayes-Mahina-Bafoulabé

As said before..Kayes has got a hot climate..
we got our passports back...police was friendly..
they spoke broken French..I guess their native language..
was Bambara??or a local dialect..but no problem here..
they told us..to visit the waterfalls of Felou..we did not..
between Kayes-Bamako..there are local train connections..
Dakar-Bamako train went twice a week..me and these French..
decided to take a train ride up to Mahina..then to Bamako..
and explore a bit of real village African life..so...
we got to Mahina by train..
and went to Bafoulabé police station to report..
in these days one had to report at the police a lot..
we were going to a village in the Bafoulabé regio..
one official(police)took us to see the village chief..
a dude with 4 wifes..it's a custom to greet the chief..
we did not have any presents..sometimes a bottle of liquor..
was given..then sprinkled on the ground..
to worship the ancestors...this visit..I remember very well..
there was a river outside this village..we went to swim there..
we saw a hippo even..big beasts..uhuh..so..this chief..
I guess..not many white foreigners passed through his village..
the women..were giggling like teenagers..but..everybody was friendly..
we were given a hut..to stay overnight..now these huts..
were very clean and certainly cooling from the heat..
we used our sleeping bags...we could fit in with the 3 of us..
alone..I don't think..i would have done this..if one is 3...it's O.K.
in the evening..we talked to the chief..he was an older dude..
some of his villagers knew some French..so he translated...
this chief...told us..that he was in charge long time over there...
he had his griot..and since this villlage..is out of nowhere..
he said that he never heard of Bamako politics as such..
suddenly...he called his wifes..and pointed out a chicken..
all of his wifes..were chasing to catch a chicken..
running around like crazy...that chicken..
was slaughtered..in honour of us...
no electricity there..they cooked in pots over a fire...
the women..were just walking around bare breasted..
one gets used to it in Africa..the river..was the daily dishwash
and laundry washing place..this river..was not always safe..
maybe crocodiles,snakes and hippo's??
if you all ever go to Africa..just visit a local village..
you will see that it's very different from the corruption of city life..
so..we stayed 2 nights in this Mali village..and it was an experience..
we went back to Mahina..to catch the train to Kita-Bamako...
a lot of adventure..if you ask me??

posting nr.29=Bamako(Mali)

Train ride from Mahina to Kita-Bamako went O.K..
always a very colourful event taking a train in Africa..
first impression of Bamako..a hustle/bustle..lots of traffic..
Bamako is on the Niger river..lots of activity by boat..
I did not go up to Mopti-Djenn? or Timbuktu..pity..
Bambara is the main language in Mali...French is understood..
but not by everyone..currency was the CFA..
Mali is one of the poorest countries on earth..
it was already politically unstable in the 70's..
Bamako town..is amazing..lovely big market here..
it's so African..I've never seen so many funny things..
it went from flowers..to clothes..food..vegetables..
magic potions..fetishes..dried bones..skins...
it's a feast for the eyes really..and then these colourful
dresses..people...all mixed up..well..one must experience it..
I don't recall exactly where we put up in Bamako..
but we stayed 2 nights..now..music..was something in Mali..
I loved these kora/balafon sounds very much..
nowadays Salif Keita..who is an albino African by the way..
makes great music..his songs are famous worldwide..
me and the French dudes decided to travell south of Bamako..
towards Bougouni-Sikasso..not possible to hitch hike with 3..
so...public transport=taxi brousse..not that expensive really..
I'll tell you all what happened later..if you're interested..

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posting nr.30=Bamako-Bougouni-Sikasso

Bamako bus station was very hectic..lots of activity...
we had to be patient to get transport towards Sikasso..
it's almost 370kms..from Bamako..so..we left..in a crowded vehicle..
most of the passengers were only going to Bougouni..
colourful people..these Malinese..they always seem to smile..
the landscape towards Sikasso was in my opininon more lush..
more green..more vegetation...Sikasso town was reached..
in the afternoon..we stayed there somewhere..next day..
we were gonna cross into Upper Volta..this country is now called..
Burkina Faso..next town would be Bobo Dioulasso..
in fact..nothing special to report this day..exept the heat...
so...we were gonna say goodbye to Mali..pity..it's a place which
certainly needed further travell..time did not allow it,you know..
I recall my Mali days...as a typical Africa experience...
very nice friendly curious outgoing people..if you show an African..
you don't look down on them..they open up..
and take you as a brother...a lesson for life..
I often remembered this during my travells..
nowadays..it's a neck and neck race...greed,envy,jealousy...
well..well..I wished I could go back in time to my travell days..
see you all in Bobo(Upper Volta)sorry..Burkina Faso..hm...hm...

posting nr.31==Bobo Dioulasso(Upper Volta)

Upper Volta..quite a country it was...I crossed twice there..
since I went down to Abidjan..and couldn't get into Ghana..
visa etc..I went back up north..again to Upper Volta..
will tell you later about that...now..the trip Sikasso-Bobo..
was O.K. nice town in Southwest Upper Volta..
very interesting African market called le Grand Marché?..
the usual colourful scene..quite a lot of hotels,shops,
restaurants in Bobo..we stayed at a French missionary??
if I recall well..that priest was in Bobo for 30 years..
Upper Volta is mainly animistic of belief..
some Muslim+Catholics as well...
the Bobo tribe have got some strange masks in their rituals...
they use butterfly,antelope and other animals forms..
usually during a funeral..lots of ceremonies are going on..
never witnessed anything like that..
it's said..they want to drive away the evil spirits from the deceased..
otherwise his soul wil be forever haunted..magic Africa,you know??
in the evening..Bobo became lively..the local hookers play their game..
the music..is all over this town..bit like Bamako..
Bobo is a safe place..but one always must be alert for scams..
every white face..is a capitalist..hmm..I was not...ahah..
somebody told us to go to Banfora..south of Bobo..
direction Ivory Coast border..there was a waterfall at Karfigu?la..
and me and these French dudes..decided to explore that..
these dudes..were brothers..nice fellows..bit moody sometimes..
but after Ferkessédougou(Ivory Coast)I said goodbye to them...
and continued alone..bit more dangerous..but I was not afraid..
I'll try to find a link about Bobo Dioulasso..

a link on Bobo==the beer is called dolo=i also tasted it...i prefer Belgian beer....

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Africans LOVE music and dance=djembé etc...an impression from Bobo....

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posting nr.32=Banfora-Karfiguéla(Upper Volta)

So..time to say goodbye to Bobo..nice place..very African..
Banfora was not that far south of Bobo..we reached soon enough..
got some information about that waterfall..I believe it was 15kms
away from Banfora..we stayed in Banfora that day..nothing special..
we met a whole group of French construction builders..they were
setting up some factory nearby...all they talked about was women=hookers..
I did not like these dudes...we decided to walk that distance
to the waterfalls..it would take us maybe 2 hours..the sun..
can be scorching in december in Africa...so..next morning..
we set off..from Banfora...to Karfiguéla..we reached that place..
like I said..in 2 hours time..now..this place..was so nice..
we set up camp there..I mean..we decided to pick up a place..
where we could spread our sleeping bags..it was on a steep rock..
the waterfalls were down..it's so nice..to see a waterfall in Africa..
Karfiguéla was a place..very remote...absolute silence..nature..
we stayed there for 4 days...of course we took our precautions..
and stocked up well in food at a Banfora shop..mostly coffee..
and tinned stuff...sardines..dried fruits..just survival stuff..
one day...one tribal dude..came to the place where we stayed..
he did not speak French..just pointing out..he was living in a village..
somewhere down..these people..lived far from civilisation..
one day..on one of our walks down to the waterfall..we found signs..
of that tribe..a monkey skull..put up on a stick..just in the middle..
of nowhere...strange...after 4 days of this Robison Crusoe stuff..
ahahah..we got sick of it..and walked back to Banfora town...
I'll try to get a link about Banfora-Karfiguéla..
below..a link with a picture of Karfiguéla waterfall..brings back memories..uhuh..
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posting nr.33==Banfora-Ferkessédougou(Ivory Coast)

So...after 4 days waterfall scenery...walked back to Banfora..
real hot day..I recall..we put up for 1 night in a local hotel..
something weird happened that evening..in the bar of the hotel..
some locals got drunk on local beer...now..one advice..never get
into a fight with drunk Africans...it can become really nasty..
one of these dudes..made a remark to Alain..the French dude..
this fellow(Alain)was a bit of a hothead..he did not take that remark...
and it almost ended up in a fight..the hotel manager..
kept his cool...and things got solved..before worser happened...
funny..it's like nowadays..some people like to judge others...
but they hate it..when they are judged themselves...
well..anyway..modern world..so..we left Banfora by taxi brousse..
towards Niangoloko-Yenderé?..the border town ..
between Upper Volta and Ivory coast..the customs..did examine
our luggage..and passports..it took a while to cross into Ivory Coast..
just to give importance to their uniforms..I guess..power game...
Ivory Coast..another nice country..the French dudes were gonna
say goodbye in Ferkessédougou(Ferké)because they wanted to go
to Korhogo..to visit some local tribe called Senoufo..I was gonna down
alone towards Bouaké-Abidjan..my plan was Ghana as well..
but did not realize that..pity..I wished I could have visited Ghana...
so we reached Ferk?..town in the north of Ivory Coast..
pity I could not go to Korhogo..Senoufo tribe..
well..very interesting tribe..
they have sacred places in the forests...for girls..for boys..
initiation rituals..some whitchcraft,local masked dances..
where the dancers..get into a wild trance...
it's called Poro,I believe??really mysterious..
pity..but...I was thinking about my money situation..
still a long way back up north to Tunisia..
crossing the Sahara..one never knows...what it will cost??
I will tell you about Ferké..and the Ivory coast later on..
very lush vegetation in Ivory Coast..real nice nature..
specially down south of Bouake-N'douci..

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Cote D'ivoire Map / Geography of Cote D'ivoire / Map of Cote D'ivoire - Worldatlas.com

posting nr.34=Ferkessédougou-Bouaké

I went by train towards Bouaké...nice ride it was..
a train trip in Africa..is where you meet the people..
same as taxi brousse rides..Bouaké was a nice town..
stayed a day there..very loveley nature in Ivory coast..
it was all so tropical..and green..huge trees..
Ivory Coast is known for pineapples..I stocked up on them..
very cheap..and good source of vitamins as well..
all over in Africa..I found these little roadstalls..
for a coffee..or grilled meat..very cheap food..
and great talking..with the locals..
Bouaké? is Baoulé tribe country..
they make beautiful artifacts..masks etc...
nice local market..called Grand Marché..
the usual African stuff in there..
I'll try to find a link about Bouaké..
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posting nr.35==Bouaké--Abidjan

Well..took a taxi brousse..from Bouaké to Abidjan..
I was quite confused...of Abidjan city..capital..allright??
it was luxury..not the real Africa i knew..there are 2 regio's
in Abidjan called Treichville and Adjamé?..that's Africa..
the Plateau..was just a French impression of Africa..
skyscapers..hotel Ivoire..luxury shops..fashion..money..
the real Africa..is in the villages..not in cities like Abidjan..
I did not like Abidjan as such..and..it's a humid sticky climate..
Abidjan..is called Paris of West Africa..ahah..nice African ladies.
with lots of money..on their way to the hairdressers..beauty shop??
beauty..is in the heart..I rather enjoyed my visit to the village chief..
big hotels..fancy restaurants of Abidjan...were not for my pocket..
and one more thing...the contrast..of rich and poor in Abidjan..
created a kind of criminality and paranoia..even in the 70's...
you should have seen the armed guards in front of a big bank..
Treichville is the hookers district..dangerous to go..
criminality...was a clash between culture gaps...even then..
I did only stay 1 day in Abidjan..I saw..and I went..
could not go to Ghana..pity..I would have loved to visit..
no time..no visa..no money left??
instead..I went back up north..
reached N'douci by taxi brousse.I recall the pineapples there..
I'll try to find a good link for Abidjan..

markets in Abidjan...

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Abidjan city views...
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posting nr.36==Abidjan-N'douci-Bouaké

So..goodbye Abidjan..did not like that city too much..
bit too French Paris style??and that sticky heat...woohh..
so..went back up north...to N'Douci..we had a stop there..
taxi brousse picks up folks..I saw a pile of pineapples in N'Douci..
could not resist..the extra vitamins..ahah..reached Bouaké again..
the lady from the grill stand..remembered my face..
don't recall where I stayed..next day..was aiming for Katiola..
and maybe Bobo again..I liked Bobo..so..was hoping to get there...
the French missionary...was always there..I told that priest..
I might come back to Bobo Dioulasso one day...ahah..
after that place..It was gonna be Ouaga=Ouagadougou..
and after that Niamey(Niger)..I'll keep you all reading..is it?

posting nr.37==Katiola-Bobo

so..Bouak?..taxi brousse to Katiola..just a provincial town..
typical African..reached Bobo again..went back to stay..
at the French missionary..it was free..and safe as well..
these missionaries in Africa..I really admire their guts..
it was not so easy to win souls for God...
Africans stay always bit animistic deep inside their souls....
and I don't blame them for that fact..they are Africans...
no Western will ever understand their true nature..
so Bobo again..a very African town..I would recommend this place..
if you ever get from behind your computers??and go to Africa??
so..after Bobo..it was gonna be direction Ouaga..
capital of Upper Volta..I was on my way back home..oh yes..
the Sahara desert...well..I was slighty scared of it..
but..it turned out..a big and positive experience..
will tell you busy peeps later on...brrr...
adventures,did you say?

posting nr.38==Bobo-Ouagadougou

So...I left Bobo..aww..I loved this place..
between Bobo and Ouaga came Koudougou...
don't remember much from this trip towards Ouaga..
Ouaga is the capital of Upper Volta..I guess..this country..
was never stable political..military coups??corruption...
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the people..now called Burkinabés..were nice though..
I recall the climate as very hot..Ouaga was O.K...
the usual Grand Marché(market)dominates the town...
it was a town with parallel running streets..
I stayed 1 night in a hotel..but I forgot the name..
lots of eateries as well..choice enough...
I took some cheap African rice/chicken dish(yassa)
I was gonna go towards Fada Ngourma-Kantchari..
and then into Niger..towards the capital Niamey...
Niger was a place..I recall..as rough travelling..

posting nr.39==Niamey(Niger)

I recall the trip into Niger as very rough travell..
Fada Ngourma-Kantchari..then border crossing..
some more control then in Ivory Coast..
but my visa was allright...made it in Paris(France)
Niger was one of the poorest countries on earth..
it was in the Sahel belt...this means desert,arid climate,drought..
I saw some Tuaregs in Agadez..this city..is worthwhile..
Agadez is a desert city..it replaced Timbuctu for me...ahah..
tuaregs are nomads..they are called blue men..
because of the clothpiece(tagelmoust)covering their mouth..
it protects them against desert winds on their camel trips..
Tuareg art is extremeley nice..specially their silverware..
I met some Tuaregs around Tahoua and also in Agadez..
great wanderers..their women enjoy a very free status..
but..let me tell you about Niamey...capital of Niger..
Niamey is on the Niger river..like Bamako..
again a Grand Marché(marketplace)like in most African capitals..
I went for information about going towards Agadez..
it's mostly on top of a truck..I remember that ride very well..
Niger is a Muslim place..big mosque in Niamey...
eating..no problem here..cheap street stalls with rice/chicken..
I stocked up quite a bit of food for my trip towards Agadez..
a local supermarket in Africa..usually had some stuff from France..
sardines...tinned food..always very usefull..
in the Grand Marché great artwork from the Tuareg and Hausa tribes..
as said above..Tuareg silver jewellery is worthwhile..
Hausa made nice leather stuff..I did not buy anything..
prices were not for my purse anyway...
I'll try to find some link about Niger...
a Tuareg wedding...I certainly like that kind of music...style Tinariwen music..
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Agadez..I loved that place..it was very desertlike...special mosque architecture...

posting nr.40==the Tuareg tribe

As mentionned in my last journal entry...
Tuaregs are a very interesting tribe..
I'm gonna find some more links..
to give you all an idea about Tuareg..
I really admired these people while I met them..
here is a link on some art jewelry..
their woman wear lots of ornaments..mostly silver..
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click more on right bottom corner of this link.....

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a good link on Tuareg art..necklaces,bracelets etc..
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and finally..a link to photographs from West Africa..
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posting nr.41==Niamey-Tahoua-Agadez

wooh..this traject..was rough travelling..I recall...getting towards
Agadez on top of a truck..together with local Africans..first day..
after Niamey..only reached Tahoua by taxi brousse..
traffic towards Agadez..was difficult in the these days..
Tahoua..was nothing special..just a stopover place..
next day got a truck ride towards Agadez..
one has to pay the driver..it was a truck full of sacks of grain..
we sat on top..it was a dusty,bumpy and difficult ride..
in the middle of nowhere..suddenly this truck stops..
everybody down...and..guess what..namaaz time..
devote Muslims do their prayers..I couldn't blame them..
everybody turned their face to Mecca..I still don't know..
how they find that direction??that's Africa,you know..
the local African people who travelled with me..
on top of this bloody truck..were Fulanis(tribe)
great folks...they smile all the time..I did not..
it was hard travelling..I suppose they are used too..
I recall..I hated this ride..it was dusty..hot..bumpy..
once back at home...one values..the hardship of travelling..
so..these Fulani's(Peuls)are folks who got lots of herds..
they have a very funny festival called Gerewol..
it's held at In Gall..place I crossed between Tahoua-Agadez..
the local Wodaabé tribe(Fulani)the men..put make up..
and dance around like crazy..to find a local girl as a bride..
I've not seen this..but I know..I've missed something there..
everybody is in a trance during this festival..if local drugs..
are involved..I can't tell..could be??who knows??
the Fulani tribe from around Agadez
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so..after this funny ride..I reached Agadez..a desert like town..
I will relate in a special posting about this place..

posting nr.42==Agadez

Now..reaching Agadez after a very rough trip..
was a release..Agadez is a desert place..
very liveley old quarter centered around the Grande Mosquee
strange architecture indeed..very ancient..
one sees camels walking around in this place..funny sight..
the Grande Marché is very colourful..lots of artifacts..
Tuareg art is quite refined..specially silver or leatherwork..
I stayed in a cheap hotel..don't remember the name...
there were some French travellers going down south..
I went to the tourist information to find out about travelling
northbound direction Algeria..not a very easy thing..
I needed to contact a truck driver going that way..
border checkpoint between Niger-Algeria was Assamakka..
then In Guezzam..and bit higher up..Tamanrasset..
from that point..a trip north crossing the Sahara..
I was bit worried about crossing Algeria Sahara traject..
later on..it turned out..I was very lucky in a way..
will tell you peeps later on...I'll find a link about Agadez..
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posting nr.43==Agadez-Tamanrasset(Algeria)

Crossing the desert in Niger..was no bullshit..
got myself a truck transport towards the border...
long and adventurous haul..can you imagine yourself??
sitting with a bunch of locals on top of a truck..
in extreme heat and dust conditions??
we made a stopover to spend the night in the open..
it gets cold at night..and even little desert mice appeared..
that day..we came upon an *harmattan*that's a fierce wind..
one cannot see anything..it's all dust and sand..not pleasant..
harmattans usually blow in january+februari...
above Agadez there a place called Arlit..
they discovered uranium there..exploitation of it..
made this desert town..a boomtown..
I did not cross Arlit..our truck drove another route..
Assamaka-towards in Guezzam..is the middle of nowhere..
nomansland..with no rules..in these days..safe..to cross..
I heard stories nowadays...of folks getting killed..
for their cars??money??or for just being tourists??
it's NOT safe to cross there nowadays...
funny world we have to live in today..
anyway..Tamanrasset..was a bit of civilisation..
after that desert stretch...but still..it was Algeria..
I recall the place I stayed..everybody stayed there..
all travellers came together to meet..to exchange ideas..
I recall Tam as a hot place..Sahara adventurers..
told their story there...I talked to an Italian..
he came from a trip towards Togo..and was driving to Tunis..
I made a deal with this dude..to share benzine expenses..
if he took me up to Tunis all the way..he was a police officer
from Genua..in a Citroen car..which turned out later..
to give lots of trouble..I'll tell you in next posting..
P.S..Algeria got nice dates..I mean the fruits..
it was even in these days.. a funny Muslim mentality..
but finally after all..Algeria...was not so bad..
the desert mountains around Tam=the Hoggar..
really worthwhile..fantastic scenery..
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posting nr44==Tam-In Salah-El Goléa(Algeria)

so..we set off..into the Sahara desert..
the Italian dude told me..he had some tyre problems..
the car he drove..was not made for a trip through Africa..
the track into the desert direction in Salah..
was no tarmac..just sand..and often..unpredictable..
it was at least 35 degrees Celsius..and sometimes..
if one looks ahead..one sees a fata morgana..
it's like a piece of water..a shimmering in the sun..
funny..as expected..the Italian dude drove himself stuck..
into a piece of loose sand..wheels very deep into the sand..
means shoveling out..in that heat..wooooh..
he had something to put under the wheels...
gave gas...but no use..we got stuck in the Sahara sand..
we got lucky...a Landrover(4 wheel drive)came by..
and they were Italians...they just pulled us out in 10 minutes..
so..we set off again...about 50kms further on..flat back tyre..
means putting on spare wheel..in that heat..
we reached In Salah very run down..we just slept outside..
in the middle of nowhere between In salah-El Golea..
Next day we reached El Golea..bit of civilisation again??
bought some food stuff..dates are very cheap in Algeria..
will tell more about the trip El Golea-Tunis..
from Bamako(Mali)already..I had written a letter to my Dad..
to send money to Marseille(France)poste restante..
I hoped he got that letter..I just had money enough..
for the ferry crossing Tunis-Marseille..
money..is necessary in life..the worst drug ever invented..

posting nr.45==Ghardaia-Hassi Messaoud-Touggourt-El Oued

Next stop after El Golea was Ghardaia..looked nice..
I don't recall much from the traject towards El Oued..
around Hassi Messaoud..I recall petroleum exploitation..
in central+northern part of Algeria..strict Muslim society...
one saw very rareley a woman in the streets..
and if you saw them..covered from top to bottom..
the Citroen car did well after that tyre change..
we were wondering about the ferry timings towards France..
I thought...and I hoped..I did not have to hang around..
too long in Tunis town..I knew beforehand..
it was gonna be..cold in Europe...it was beginning february..
so..we drove all day..from El Golea towards El Oued..
slept in the car..not very comfortable..
next day..we were gonna cross into Tunisia via Nefta..
I'll tell you all later on about this country..not bad..
i'll see if I can get some link on Algeria..
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click Touggourt or El Oued..

posting nr.46===El Oued-Nefta-Tozeur-Gafsa-Kairouan-Tunis(Tunisia)

oh yeah..we were gonna drive into Tunisia..
off all the Maghreb countries..I think it's the most liberal..
Algeria was very conservative..Morocco..well..don't know??
we came upon Nefta after the border crossing into Tunisia..
no hassle at the border..I recall the heat...bwaahah...
it was not easy sometimes..sitting in a car the whole day..
in temperatures which went above 35 degrees Celsius...
Nefta..now..if you wanna see an oasis..go there..
it was a center for Sufism Islam..even in these days..
it holds a mausoleum of a Sufi saint..again in Nefta..
palmtrees..dates..and very colourful little streets..
driving towards Tozeur..now..this is a place to remember..
desertlike...and fantastic fata morgana's..
gave us some look at the Chott el Djerid=salt lake.
very arid area of South Tunisia..they are famous..
yes..the best dates in Tunisia..and also for a mineral..
called *rose of the desert*it looks like an opened rose..
colours go from green towards,blue,grey,brown..
I recall this because we made a stopover for food in Tozeur..
souvenir hustlers are always active,you know..ahahah..
did not buy anything..apart from dates..yes..dates..
the heat around Tozeur was terrible..we drove towards Gafsa..
then Kairouan..place looked wonderful...but..we just drove
through it..pity..lots of mosques..and they told us...
the Kairouan carpet industry was worthwhile..
finally we reached the capital=Tunis..the Italian dude..
dropped me somewhere in the Medina(souk)
after all this fellow..gave me the hitchhiking adventure..
of my life..I really was lucky..to cross from Tam to Tunis..
just sharing maybe 25 dollars of benzine..otherwise..
it would have been bus to El Golea..bus to El Oued etc..
and benzine..luckily..was cheap in Algeria..they had oil..
in Tunis town..after being dropped into the souk...
I went looking for a hotel..and it turned out later on..
a 3 nights stay..I had to wait for the ferry to Marseille(France)
will tell you peeps a bit more about Tunis town later on..

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posting nr.47==Tunis

Tunis..is a town around the sea..the gulf of Tunis..
and the Mediteranean sea give Tunis lots of character..
I always liked towns surrounded by water..Stockholm for example..waww..
the medina of Tunis is a maze of narrow streets..little bazaar
shops..around the big Mosque...which is very ancient..
no less then 3 souks are situated..each with different style of goods..
one can wander around..just enjoy a mint tea..
or explore carpets,parfums,herbs,henna,groceries,jewelry..
art etc..no need to explain it looked colourful..
since I had to stay 3 days in Tunis..
I took one whole day just walking these souks..
it's really bit tiresome..because touts and vendors..
well..the usual stuff..if they see a foreigner..they wanna sell..
i did have to be very careful with money as well..
just eating the cheap food like couscous...no splurge..
i recall I was quite run down on day 1 in Tunis..
stayed in a hotel where some other U.K.foreigners were staying..
rather cheap..not that big luxury as well..a shower..does wonders..
second day..I visited the Mosque..never been a big fanatic..
about visting religiuous places...but..I had to kill my time..
the Mosque interior was typical Maghreb styled.
big inner courtyard..loveley decorations anyhow..
the actual prayer place was forbidden for non Muslims..
Tunis is full of Mosques..they are spread all over the town..
day 3...I visited the new part of town..beautiful art nouveau
and colonial style buildings..gates,gardens etc..
did lots of walking these 3 days..was gonna take that boat
to Marseille..and then move north to Paris..I was hoping.
i was gonna get that money from my Dad..
so..finally...my Africa adventure ended in Tunis..
it was one of the most adventurous things..
i ever did in my whole lifetime..in 1986...I went back..
to Africa..Senegal+Gambia..but more in style..plane etc...
I'll try to find a good link on Tunis town..
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posting nr.48=Tunis-Marseille

so..I left North Africa..ferry crossing to Marseille..
took bit over 20 hours..smooth crossing..
Marseille was a busy town..it's in the Provence regio..
it was beginning february...and freezing cold..brrrrr..
went to the GPO=poste office...and oh..got my Dad's money..
about 25 U.S dollars..changed into FF=French francs..
got myself some baguette(bread)+camembert cheese..
I tried to hitch out of Marseille direction Avignon..
I recall I was freezing my ass off..and could not get a ride..
I decided to invest all the money I got..in a train ride..
as far north towards Paris as possible..went to railway station...
got myself a 2nd.class ticket up to Chalons sur Saone..
that's bit south of Beaune and Dijon..
the rest towards Paris..was still more then 300kms..
I was gonna be broke totally in Chalons..but I guessed..
I could survive 1 day..on some bread/cheese+coffee..
in Paris..Cathy was there..I was welcome there anyway..
I boarded that train..wooh..at least out of the freezing cold..
I reached Chalons sur Saone...and was in fact broke..
no money left..exept from some coins..I was gonna hitch..
a ride to Paris..I did not have any other choice anyway..

posting nr49=Marseille-Chalons-Paris

so..Chalons sur Saone..there I was..broke..
few pennies in my pocket..to tell you all honestly..
it's a very scary feeling..it was winter...
still more then 300kms..to go to Paris..
I was paranoid..about not making it in 1 day..
got a ride to Dijon..capital of Burgundy...
wine..mustard even..but..I could not concentrate...
got another ride towards Auxerre..
damn..I froze my ass off..it was so bloody cold..
got finally to Paris..thank God...and went to Rue Oberkampf..
Cathy and Christian..helped me out..they were glad to see me..
and..I..was glad to see them..if you catch my drift??
I stayed 4 days in Paris..food..shelter...and warmth..
true friends..one recognizes..in time of need..
it was 1975..february..Woodstock mentality??
who will tell??do people still exist like that??
Cathy borrowed me 200FF=French francs..
to take a train to Brussels(Belgium)
my adventure was over...it was...a real adventure..
i can only talk about it now..here..on a screen.
but..it's brings back memories...which you peeps..
have not the slighest idea off??

posting nr.50==Paris-Brussels+back home

Paris..is always a nice place..
february in this place..is without tourists..
one gets to know Paris better that way,I guess..
I went into the quartier latin..lots of students..
nice pubs,restaurants..but..i did not have the money..
I booked a seat on a train from Paris..gare du Nord..
towards Brussels Central..and thanks to Cathy..
i reached Belgium again..i did not even have the guts..
to hitch a ride towards my home place..i was tired..
the winter weather cold..got into me...
I took a straight train to Antwerp...and my home place...
my Dad,brother and aunt..were glad I came back home..
this journal..is a flashback for me..
thank you all..for taking the trouble..to read my adventure tales..
I do hope it can be a help for other travellers into West Africa...Emiel..
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