Monday, September 22, 2008
Week 38, Cote d Ivoire.
The land is flat and boring again but I can cycle faster because you want it to finish.
Stopped in a small town and asked for a place to sleep. I was invited to stay at the town chiefs house.
The whole town called a meeting in my honour. They were fascinated with the stories I told about my trip so far. The one they liked most was the story about the Cobra in Guinea Bissau.
We drank palm vine and they showed me the chicken and pig that they will kill for me tomorrow. Some ladies sang to me as well.
I am now an honorary member of this town and the town chief has said that I am his adopted son now.
I was prepared and ready to leave this morning but they said I had to stay as there is going to be a big party in my honour. Well, seeing as time is not of importance I stayed.....of course!!
So I spent the day walking round town with the chief and saying hello to the people. The town chiefs' father was King of a very large area here before. I saw his throne which was almost like the one that the King of Norway has.
They killed the chicken today and it was very tasty. Later on they killed the pig.
Before we went to the party I heard that it was because one lady had died 3 days ago. They mourn for 3 days and then have a big party for all of the town. I did my butt dance and it was fun to see so many people laugh at this. They played with instruments and everyone of all ages danced.
King of Bangolo
I did little cycling after the party, what with a hangover from yesterday. I said goodbye to the town chief and everyone else and left with the fond memory of being the "Son of the Town" now.
I came to another town and met some radio people who invited me to their home. One was really like Bob Marley and smoked all of the time whilst playing the guitar.
They told me a lot about the war and what happened when the good time came here. A lot of people from Burkina Faso came here to work. However, when the economics weren't so good, the local people wanted to send them back. Most of them live to the north and are Muslim. Then the war broke out.
Everything is still so green. There are only a few flowers around.
11 spokes have broken on my back wheel and 2 more got broken today so I will have to fix them before moving on.
I met a teacher who invited me home and kindly gave me food and a bed. I'm sitting here with his family now and having a nice time.
People are very poor here, but nothing like in Liberia. Here they have power everywhere and the food is better. I don't have anymore diarrhoea from last week and think maybe my stomach is strong enough for the African food now. Not before time I say.
Met some French army people here and talked with them. They said I was crazy to be cycling here.
They gave me 2 bottles of water before leaving and warned me that there are a lot of problems here, where sometimes the rebels come out from the bush and rob people on the road where I will be cycling.
I use my water cleaner a lot and when I finish I clean the pump which is very often full of muck. I cannot believe that people actually drink this water.
I got real proof today as to just how poor this country really is. When I was cycling into the town I got myself a flat tyre and stopped by a cycle repair shop where this man could fix it. Whilst I was waiting a power line fell down onto the road where, only 5 mins after, I had passed. There were a lot of people walking there as well as there were cars. It was lucky that it didn't fall on anyone or me for that matter. Must have been some insects that had eaten their way through the tree.
Wooden houses don't get to grow old here as it is too wet and many different insects like and live in these trees.
My brother gratefully sent me 100 dollars today. I found a visa machine here which is a first time for long time.
Libellés : Cote d Ivoire