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Monday, February 18, 2008

In Freetown, Sierra Leone

Now in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, after one full day of very tiring overland travel from Monrovia. We were lucky to find the right vehicles and switched between three different vehicles to reach Freetown within one single day. Much of the journey was on very bad dirt track, initially through tropical rain forest and later through semi-dry savannah. LOTS, LOTS of bumps and mud splattered all over the vehicles we travelled in.
Culturally, we also moved from Animist-Christian Africa into Islamic Africa. Interestingly, we passed many villages where some of the women went about topless even though the villages looked Islamic to me.
Sierra Leonese are generally friendly though police are corrupt – bribes were given by the drivers at every checkpoint in every settlement we passed through. Apart from Freetown (including satellite towns nearby) and Bo, much of the country we passed was nothing but wilderness. Even names on maps were nothing more than a few mud huts.
Freetown has the worst traffic congestion we have seen so far. Streets were narrow and the traffic was almost stationary even on Sunday.
Tomorrow, we will try to take the bush-taxi to Conakry, Republic of Guinea, which is a French speaking country.

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