Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A trip to Guinea and Sierra Leone

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 :)

2 comments:

Jim said...

Wow,

I am jealous, what was Sierra Leone like? The images look gorgeous, I can't wait to here more about this whole thing. You have become a front page celebrity back here at UMW

Jennifer said...

Jim,
sorry for the late response; thanks for your comment! sierra leone was...gorgeous. getting a visa at the border was not that much fun and the going through guinea to get there wasnt so great either (talk about military government suprresing the people!) but once we made it to the beaches in freetown all negotiations and promises of marriage were worth it. if you want untainted beauty, mountains and ocean book your ticket to freetown!

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