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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
For my last couple of days in Guinea I slowly wind my way East, stopping in little towns and finding still more waterfalls.
I arrive at one to find another massive hydro-station, being guarded by the military and run by Chinese, all of who turn out to be extremely friendly. Very quickly it’s decided I can camp right there in front of the military “base” – really just a crumbling old building – and I quickly boil up huge quantities of sugar-tea to share around. The two military guys are extremely friendly – and just a bit bored – and so take me on a guided tour of the whole facility, showing me the massive intake pipe on our hike down to the actual generators at the base of the huge natural waterfall that has been augmented by a dam.
I have had no problem buying gasoline at stations for the entire trip – every station I have arrived at has always had gasoline and diesel, and plenty of locals buying both. Hopefully that’s a sign the underground tanks are used often and the gasoline has not been sitting around for a long time. The Jeep is running just fine, so I think the quality must be OK.
That being said, in every town there are always bottles of gasoline and diesel for sale on the side of the road in one liter bottles. The color ranges from almost clear to dark brown, and the couple I tried smelled a lot more like paint thinner than gasoline. It’s often cheaper than the official rate at the stations, because people are bringing it in from neighboring countries, and even stealing it off the tankers moored off-shore, I’m told. Everyone runs the gas in their scooters, and though they cough a lot of smoke, they seem to still run
On my last day in Guinea I cross the mighty Niger river – here around 50 yards across and a deep brown of swirling dirt and mud. It feels like a milestone to have reached the massive river, though the locals look at me strangely when I stop on the side of the road to take a photo of the world’s most un-impressive sign.
Guinea has been an absolute pleasure. I only wish I had gotten a longer visa.
Maybe I will come back some day
Time for another border crossing..
All the details to drive your own Overland vehicle into Guinea, including gas prices, border procedures, paperwork, insurance, camping and more can be found at http://wikioverland.org/GuineaThe Onja is rated 3.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon.