Friday, July 25, 2008

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone, Free Town

We just arrived today, 25 July 2008. From the ship, the town overlooked the city which has a mountain casted along the coast and filled with busy streets below.

checking in a internet cafe to upload these dispite we only have 3 hours on the town. amazingly how i see the captain gave the immigration officers boxes of ciggettes and boxes of whiskey and the officers took one each into their bag.

It's and Ex english admistration country and the keyboard is same like Singapore! slow access to internet... wait and wait.

Senegal, Dakar. 23 July 2008.

At last, we board the freighter cruise from Grimaldi Lines. This ship carries lots of machinery and used cars from Europe to Africa and South America. There were only 7 passengers on board. among us we a couple driving a truck caravan from Germany going to south America for travel for 3 years, a French ex biker that travel the world for 8 years but this time on his caravan to settle in South America, an old couple from America and Holland that like to travel on freighter cruise to Argentina and back to France. It was their 8th trip on a freighter cruise.

Well, this ship is not that type of cruise that u can think of in Singapore where there are lots of entertainment. 30 crews and 7 passengers. This ship carries cargo container and is the number one machinery sea transport company in the world. It has a car parking larger than SUNTEC city in Singapore. We couldn’t believe it and yet Hope Too is just a dirt in a desert but they took good care of Hope Too.

On our travel list, Africa was out but we are here?! We got out of the ship that was loading and unloading cargos here and we had free time to get to the town.

30 days on the ship was made easy with the 5 new friends. We were pretty close to each other. Every one of us was from different countries and we share everything about ourselves. The stories that they told us made us more excited to stay in South America for a year more!

The Dakar 4 hours experience was not so good but it is a place much much better than our India days. like as any touristic places there were lots of people following you trying to sell you what they have hanging all over their body. Then, there are ‘escorts’ that want to bring you to places you want to go. These ‘escorts’ are very persistence but in the end, they did not ask for anything but just a can of coke. Some of our fellow crew member of the ship experienced kids trying to touch their pocket as we heard losing your valuables from the bag or pocket is common.

we went to a better restaurant to have lunch with Fabris and Sylvia. first time that we tasted our home ‘sambal’ chilli on the fish. the young waiteress were beautiful in my eyes though they are very very charcoal. I was amused by their look and I think it’s the best, nice looking and eye smoothing person I would see in Dakar.

I saw, Khaya senegalensis, the common road side tree in Singapore. also Delonix regia, Rain Tree and Ceiba! I checked my GPS and Dakar has the same longitude as Bangkok so it’s normal for us to sweat all day round!
I started to take a picture of the street and I heard shouting from someone, a group of man seating by the roadside under a tree, at me in French. He sounded very angry and among his French word, I heard something about ‘camera’ and ‘picture’. I feels like he doesn’t allow me to take a picture of the street. it strange for us. I respected. it’s their land.

buying coconut off the street... not cheap as compared to local standard of living.

This year the annual Paris-Dakar race was cancelled in Africa due to some reasons but it will be held in South America on 1st January 2009. our plan was to reach Argentina, go up to Brazil where it’s more tropical and not so cold on this time, then go to the most southern part of the world during December where it is summer there. Then go to the Dakar race route to catch the race, even I may go back to Argentina where the start point is. after all the race, we will cross the Chile desert and reach Bolivia and Peru where we visit Machu ‘ before getting an air freight (cheaper than sea transport) for Hope Too to cross the famous Darien Gap where Panama is separated with Columbia.

Dear friends, I have a question:

Shall we go to Columbia?

Bear in mind that we have to go back to Europe and cross from west Russia to east Russia before summer ends in 2009 then we go south to Mongolia and china and back home. Russia could only be travelled in summer else our teeth will be shattering everyday due to the cold weather.

Shall we go Columbia where they were used to kidnap tourist or we will miss the beautiful people there? there are some bikers that enjoyed Columbia also. how?

Please give us some comment.
picture of our cabin.

morocco night and beautiful mosque! we were not allowed to get to the town because of security reasons in the country.


singapore2poland said...

we would suggest you go to columbia! i heard it is beatifull country

singaporedream said...

hi guys!thanks for viewing our blog constantly thou internet is hard in those countries u travel.

would u give me advice on russia?

my chance of going to columbia goes up by 2 points after the 2 of u advice me. thanks!

amazon.bird said...

Hi, Sandra here (again). I'm catching up on your blog (great inputs btw!) and came across this question - have you made up your mind about Colombia? In any case, I recommend it with 2 thumbs up. As you said, people makes the difference and the Colombians are really really nice - always willing to lend a helping hand to strangers. The old image of 'kidnappings' and 'drugs' is passe. Hope this helps. Stay safe, happy trails ahead and Happy New Year 2009!