Monday, June 16, 2008

Trek Through Africa: IVORY COAST (Day 66-70)

Day 66 : Wednesday 27th Jan - Burkina Faso

Most of the people are ill so I have to do the cooking, we were going to go out for a group meal tonight but there?s no point now. Drove into Ouagadougou and found the French embassy in order to get a visa for the Ivory Coast. It now costs 10,000 CFA, up from nothing last month, the Danes get in free. The city seems surprisingly lively and colourful without the usual trouble. Went round with Charlie and Lars, first to the post office where I picked up two letters from home, next for a Chinese meal, then went shopping for food. There is a big market in a giant multi-story car park type building. Managed to get the food at a good price for once. We stayed in a campsite with a bar, so I had to do all the cooking myself while half of the people were getting pissed and the other half dying. I cooked 2 kg of beef into a stir fry with onions and green beans and potatoes, excellent meal even if I say so myself. Washed up then had a beer in the bar, Kenny, Mike, Marion and Clare were all pissed. Slept on the truck with Bobbie, Charlie and Niels who has got malaria. Noise continued all night from the bar and a drive in cinema next door, needles to say, no sleep again.

Day 67 : Thursday 28th Jan - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Only did bread and bananas for breakfast, into town after a late start, almost managed to get ?500 on my MasterCard but then the banks closed at 12. Wish I had an American Express card, no problem getting money anywhere. Did truck guard and wrote a letter home. Afterwards we found an air conditioned Patisserie where me, Jo, Bobbie and Julia had loads of cakes ice cream. Drove out of town, I sat at the back of the truck when Ian got stopped and fined very heavily for god knows what, they kept us there of an hour, why are all these countries run by scum ? Even had to camouflage the truck a long way off the road to hide from the pigs at night. I did a full truck clean followed by a meeting. Kristin cooked a good meal for once.

Day 68 : Friday 29th Jan - Bobo Delaso, Burkina Faso

Arrived in Bobo Delaso at noon, this is Burkina Faso?s second city. Things are looking more westernised now that we are moving away from the arab north. Found a hotel called Big Jacks on the main road, me, Charlie and Lars ordered a meal which was top quality and very cheap. The owner talked us into staying the night there the night in air conditioned rooms. Went back to the truck for a shift on guard, sat outside on the steps much to the amazement of the locals for some reason. Walked round looking for a supermarket for some chocolate etc. then back to the truck to pack up for the night. Walked to the hotel and had a sleep while the others had another meal. Had a shower then ready for a night out, feels strange to be clean and dressed up. Walked round from hotel to hotel which were quite boring. Ended up in a place that was all lit up with loads of small bars and clubs, people coming at us from all directions, had to be on guard all the time. Went back to the hotel that also had a disco, it was expensive to get in so I said I was not bothered trying to call their bluff, then a bloke said I could go in for free if I sat at a certain table. The place was full of hookers and pimps, only I one drink then went back to the room with Charlie, the bloke was non too pleased. Lars came in soon after. All had a laugh about it when we were in the room.

Day 69 : Saturday 30th Jan - Bobo Delaso to Ivory Coast

Met the truck in the town square and left for the boarder. Good tarmac road south, sat on the dog-box to the border of the Ivory Coast, crossed it OK. Climate changed rapidly from warm and dry to hot and sticky, lots more vegetation. Rough camped for the night.

Day 70 : Sunday 31st Jan - Yamasucra to Abidjan

Still on a good road, got to the capital Yamasucra in the morning. Parked outside an air conditioned supermarket, bought some bread, meat, cheese, soap chocolate etc. and had a binge. At mid-day the sun was burning down as me Charlie and Lars were walking to the cathedral, Lars felt ill and had to sit down, soon I was feeling bad as well. Too much food at once and the change of climate. Could not make it to the cathedral, found an Italian bar and had a couple of lemonades. Went back to meet the truck but it had gone, waited outside a bar with Marion, soon I had got sun stroke and was walking all over the place feeling very faint. Bought a couple of ice-creams and got the decimal point mixed up, 500 CFA instead of 50. Truck had to come back for me, feeling bad. Everyone started having a water fight on the truck when we were going through the plantations, all the lockers got soaked. Air is more humid than ever. Got to the main city Abidjan late on and stayed on a camp site with a private beach. Did not have anything to eat, went down to the beach and had a couple of beers with Charlie, feel at bit better now. A storm came in off the ocean in the night and kept us awake.

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