I did not blog this next story at the time because I did not want to worry you good folks. Especially those that were already overly stressed over my health and well being (hi mum). Now I am safely back in Europe I can tell you what happened in Guinea.
It was on my second day in Guinea and I was riding on a jungle track in the middle of nowhere. Ahead I spotted a tree barrier across the track and a group of about 20 young lads and their motorcycles just off the road. One had army trousers and a khaki t-shirt and was carrying some kind of automatic weapon (machine gun). I had no choice but to slow down. The army looking guy got me to pull off the track 90 degrees facing the trees. I was scared and had no escape path in front of me. I was thinking all the things you are probably thinking now.
He asked for my passport, all the other young lads surround me and the bike. I smiled and gave him my passport (no choice and I have a second one hidden in my kit). “Je suis Anglais, je ne comprend Francais” my usual line when I don’t want to comply with an official.
He looked at my passport (upside down!) Then handed it back, “allez” well I comprended that fine. I backed up the bike, somebody moved the tree and I went.
I still do not understand what it was all about. There are only two explanations I can come up with. One is that he was official and the young lads met there out of boredom. The other is that was a hold up point and they decided I was too high a profile target for them and decided to let me go.
That was only the second time on the whole trip that I felt at risk, the first being at Rosso; I leave you to judge whether I was over-reacting or not.