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Old 02-02-2013, 05:43 AM   #1
jestragon OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: W-Africa
Oddometer: 136
Thumb A glimpse into my backyard - Boe, Guinea Bissau, W-Africa. Pic heavy!

I lost this post last night due to a login/logout issue


Oh well, I'l try again.


Not so much a day ride report as a glimpse into the riding "in my backyard", of the Bo, Guinea Bissau. 3000km2, no paved roads, lots of gravel, rock, compacted clay stuff that gets slicker'n shit in the rainy seaon, a few big rivers, countless temporary streams, rolling hills, savannah, gallery forests, lots of wildlife (I do chimpanzee conservation work), effectively 0 cars, only recently some unreliable network coverage, traditional villages, no electricity, no education, nothing.

Cameras: Canon G10 and SX40 HS and Nikon AW100, most pictures were snapped quickly, time is money (not that I make any...).

Bikes: Suzuki TF125, Yamaha DT, TVS victor 125 (all project bikes) and my own '89 aprilia Tuareg wind 600. The bikes are my main form of transport, the cage only gets used for transport of bulky things, trips to the capital with multiple people or the frequent evacuation of sick and injured locals to the nearest "hospital" (a three hour/85 km drive).

Some pics:
A colleague and I, he's a good rider but terrible at maintenance; I've caught him riding on flat tyres (he only weighs about 120lbs) and with empty 2 stroke oil reservoirs:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr

The Guinea-Bissau/Guinea-Conakry border is often marked by big piles of stones:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

People are intensely hospitable despite abject poverty, and will invite you to share their food almost everywhere:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

A lot of semi-nomadic cattle herders, they tend to cause big bush fires:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

Some savannah views, rainy and dry season:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr

This isn't retouched, the 'flush', aka new green grass at the start of the rains, is bright enough to hurt your eyes.

. by jestragon, on Flickr

Some water:
a low-lying area that gets flooded, you end up riding miles through occasionally pretty deep water:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

One of the worst areas, a lot of trucks get stuck here in the rainy season:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

Some streams you can cross:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr
Crossing was easy, getting the bikes up on this end was not:

. by jestragon, on Flickr


To cross some you need to load your bike onto a dugout canoe and walk it across (lost my toenail during the trip of the second pic):

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr

Or, if there's a semi-reliable cable ferry...

. by jestragon, on Flickr

Which can't reach the banks in the peak of the rains...

. by jestragon, on Flickr

So then you load your bike onto a small boat... not a fan of a motorbike on a dugout on a large, fast-flowing river...

. by jestragon, on Flickr



A trip I made with two colleagues to a nearby (as the crow flies) mining town in neighbouring Guinea Conakry:

. by jestragon, on Flickr

. by jestragon, on Flickr
monument from the independence war, ended in '74:

. by jestragon, on Flickr


Recently rode there and back again, via a longer route, solo. On the way back I really pushed it, practically non-stop for 10 hours, over about 400kms, to give you an idea of road conditions. A loaded Mitsubishi Canter truck needed 26 hours to cover the same distance
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