Wednesday we took the bush taxi approx. 100km (60 miles) from Conakry to Kindia. Kindia is inland and maybe 1000 ft. elevation. The ride was fine except being squeezed four across in a Renault 21–a compact. Upon arrival we put our bags on our bikes and rode about 4 km out of town to what was supposed to be the nicest hotel. The hotel is fine–quiet, nice rooms, electricity at nice for the AC. We napped and then took a short bike ride back away from the road. We found a village and people working in the field. Unfortunately while talking to about 20 people in the village square (where the well is. There is very little running water here), my GPS disappeared from my bike. There were many little kids around. We told the village major what happened and he said he would look. To make a long story short we later enlisted (they volunteered) some French tourists who enlisted their local connections to make a visit to the village and offer a reward. The fear is that the little kids have destroyed it trying to get the phone/radio/game boy working. We will find out this evening. Yesterday we took a 20 mile round trip bike ride to some a nice waterfall. We were the only tourists. Louisa talked to the trinket vendor and he said the French mostly come in December and the American’s in January and February.
Aïsha, the young lady who helped in the village became our guide for some fabric shopping. Only two pieces so far. Well, a third that was made into a shirt. We missed the bargaining because Aïsha took care of that. A good change of pace to have a guide. I suspect we will use them more here in Africa, but time will tell. It is not a problem being hassled like Asia. No is understood, but it is more difficult to accomplish some things.
Martin asked about motos as transportation in Conakry. They don’t exist there. There are a few private ones. And many shared taxis, but not enough for rush hour. In Kindai there are many motos (small motorcycles) both private and I think also to hire. We’ve been on bikes or with guide, so not positive. The motos in Kindia are quite new, so I suspect a new addition to the area. The city to city taxis are in fairly good condition, the local ones are very well used. The main roads are very good. Smooth and wide enough. Our bike ride yesterday was OK because not much traffic, a car every few minutes, occasional truck, and also motos and bicycles. Evidence of many accidents though.
At our nice hotel there are three choices for dinner, brochette (shish kabab), steak, and chicken; all with French fries, no vegetables. There are plenty of vegetables in the markets. Local fruit is practically free.
We are now in an area with mountains and forest. Some of it is quite beautiful. Tomorrow we’re going to climb Mount Gangan, something like 3000 ft. We will leave early to avoid the heat. Cooler here, but still hot and humid. It’s been partly cloudy just about every day. They come and go. We had thunder storms at night in Conakry.
We still are having some problems sleeping, not sure if it’s the bed’s, the humidity, the Malarone.
I know this is all a bit disjointed, as I’m on a slow connection, can’t see what I wrote yesterday, and I can’t remember what I wrote here and what I wrote in my notebook.