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.
After packing and leaving my hotel my plan was to limp the bike 30km across the border into Senegal where I had the correct money plus parts would be easier to get. The chain lasted all the way.
Why great? Well just look at the pictures of the road and scenery. New tarmac one minute, jungle tracks the next, then dirt roads. All through some of the most stunning unspolit mountain jungle.
Why worrying? Because…
Yesterdays visit to the Sierra Leone Scouts was the last meeting I had planned for this trip. I will spend the next 3-4 weeks travelling home.
I had a slightly later start this morning and after a half hour fighting through traffic amd markets I was back into the countryside. By mid day and after having my temperature taken at every town’s Ebola checkpoint, I was at the Guinea border.
Today was about great bike riding on mountain roads and on jungle tracks, falling off a ferry into a river, seeing fantastic wildlife, breakdowns and hospitality in a remote jungle village. It is going to be a long blog. ..
Today has been a great bike riding experience it started with some straight forward good straight tarmac for high speed and burning kilometers. Then came some of the worst roads imaginable where the tarmac was either pot holed or missing for several kilometers at a time. I spent a lot of the time riding on the dirt beside the road rather than dancing around pot holes on the road. Finally I was back on good tarmac through fantastic hilly scenery with long sweeping bends.
This morning I only had a kilometer to go to the village where I needed to get my passport stamped. Right from the outset the steering did not feel right. It was notchy when turning rather than smooth. Ok when going straight and fast but very difficult when going slow and using the steering to help balance.
I started the day unsure of where I would finish. The Michelin paper map showed an unpaved road between Bougoni in Mali and Kankan in Guinnea but neither Google Maps not Openstreetmaps said it was a complete road. They showed a gap and no route through. Internet searches gave no mention of a border post there. I decided to get to Bougouni and ask a local. If no joy then I would have to take a much longer route and stop overnight in Bomako, Mali.