Seeing the sites of Guinea and Sierra Leone on a recent vacation with fellow volunteers Joe, Ashley and Cassie - River #1 & #2, Banana Island, both capital cities Freetown and Conakry, the Fouta of Guinea opened my eyes to the raw beauty in West Africa and also how from one country to the next life can be so different. It's easy to lump regions together from a distance and even from within Mali I thought things wouldn't be much different in Guinea or Sierra Leone but I was in for a wake-up call! Sporadic running water and electricity in Conakry, the capital of Guinea and a bustling Freetown with big buildings and colonial architecture still intact drew stark contrasts to Bamako where there's almost always electricity/street lights and running water in hotels.
It was worth spending over 30 hours in a tightly packed car with red dirt coating our entire bodies and bags to get to the beach in Freetown, Sierra Leone and then spend 5 days on the beach, turn around and head back to Mali through Guinea, stopping in the Fouta Djallon for hiking and site-seeing.
I'll let the pictures speak for me because words are failing and no matter how hard I try to describe what I saw, it can't come through!
the Fouta Djallon in Guinea
Tokeh Beach near Freetown, Sierra Leone
Banana Island, Sierra Leone
River #1, Sierra Leone
Our taxi from Bamako, Mali to Kankan, Guinea. We were celebrating making it through all the border check points.
See more pictures here :)