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Maliville

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The road to Millville turns out to be 70 miles of extremely rough dirt, mostly over rocks, or crushed rocks. After airing down I’m able to mostly move along in 2nd gear, though I still drop down to 1st for the biggest potholes and hill climbs. The entire day is uphill, and the Jeep works hard for the entire ten hours it eventually takes – yes, that’s right, I move along at about seven miles per hour for the entire day. The computer shows the worst mileage I have ever seen – 12MPG. Since arriving in Guinea I have seen thumping rain for between eight and ten hours every day, usually accompanied by a massive thunder and lightning show. I am extremely thankful the road is mostly rock which means there are huge puddles, but mud pits are the exception rather than the rule.

The source of the mighty Gambia River - and the highway bridge

The source of the mighty Gambia River – and the highway bridge

Camping on the side of the highway to Maliville

Camping on the side of the highway to Maliville

Arriving in Maliville everyone directs me to the “tourist office” in town. Bafou, a retired schoolteacher, is the self-appointed head of regional tourism, and it’s clear he is immensely proud of the whole region, and is busting to show me around. He keeps a detailed register of all visitors to the region, and it’s heartbreaking to see the steady increase over the years then the massive drop off due to Ebola in recent years. (The WHO declared Guinea Ebola free in June of 2016). It’s cool to read backwards through the book and see how many Overlanders have visited over the years, including groups of 20-30 vehicles touring West Africa in it’s heyday from around 2008-2012.

The Tourist Office of Maliville

The Tourist Office of Maliville

Bafou in the Tourist Office

Bafou in the Tourist Office

The tourist count in Maliville, Guinea. The running total for 2016 was 12

The tourist count in Maliville, Guinea. The running total for 2016 was 12

Hanging out with Bafou is great, and I hike to the top of the famous “Dame of Mali”, where I can see both nearby Senegal and Mali. I wander around town, and although I stubbornly camp in the Jeep on the first night, the relentless rain drives me into Bafou’s rustic cabin, where payment is voluntary. Bafou directs me to the town filtered water supply where I re-fill the Jeep for the fee of 2,000 Guinean Francs, about 20 cents. Supplies are limited in town, so I stock up on rice and pasta, but choose not to buy gas from dirty coke bottles on the side of the road.

The Dame of Mali (in Guinea)

The Dame of Mali (in Guinea)

On top of the world - Mali and Senegal in the distance

On top of the world – Mali and Senegal in the distance

The streets of Maliville - amazingly roads are often worse in towns that outside them!

The streets of Maliville – amazingly roads are often worse in towns that outside them!

It’s a beautiful place, and I find it hard to leave, though I am extremely excited to explore more of this fantastic and friendly country.

Accommodation in Maliville

Accommodation in Maliville

Airing up with my ARB Air Compressor

Airing up with my ARB Air Compressor once back South

-Dan

4 Responses

  1. Jared says:

    Wow, what a spectacular place it must be. So lush and green, even in the winter (or is it really winter there?).

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hey Jared,

      This close to the equator there is really only an extremely rainy season, and a less rainy season. The temperature does go down a little, but nothing that could reasonably be called “winter”.
      Funny enough, I miss snowboarding!!

      -Dan

  1. December 26, 2016

    […] my way to Maliville in the far North of Guinea on the worst roads yet! Read the full story here: Maliville | The Road Chose Me […]

  2. December 26, 2016

    […] Read the rest of the story on The Road Chose Me […]

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