Approaching Conakry, there was a queue of stationary vehicles that were blocked by a fallen tree. Chainsaws were in action, but I couldn't see any road through the green barrier. Locals on motorcycles were scooting through a village to get around this, so I followed them over grass and tracks, which couldn't be done by car. My choice of dual sport motorcycle was a good one!
To get to downtown Conakry, there's miles of jostling with traffic and pedastrians. The freely moving traffic soon turned into gridlock. Motorcycle taxis were now riding on the path and between stationary vehicles. I followed suit but everyone was making very slow progress. I pulled off the main route and found a place to eat. About an hour later, the traffic had cleared, and I returned to jostling with the traffic. I discovered a few days later that the president was coming or going, so the main route was temporarily closed.
I looked for a campsite marked on the map, but it didn't exist. A chap said he knew somewhere and he gestured for me to follow him. With some intrepidation, I followed him next door, and he showed me his newly built 3-bed house that he co-owned with his brothers and a nephew. The first tenant would move in next week and the property was vacant... so he offered me the place to stay for the evening!
The house was unfurnished, which was no problem for me!
The nephew showed me around the local area along the Medina Corniche and Medina Niger. He introduced me to his friend who was a Chinese man expanding his shoe sales business with a second shop. There was a very large Belgian brewery next to the market.
Walking back to the house, I bumped into a Liberian teenager who spoke some English. We stopped in a cafe, had some tea, and relaxed.
The next morning, I pursued the remaining journey into the centre of Conakry. I checked into a Catholic mission and immediately bumped into my friend Jean-Claude who has been cycling round the world for 32 years. I enjoyed a few days relaxing in Conakry whilst waiting for my visa for Ivory Coast.
I found shops selling western foods but it was very expensive and I didn't crave any of it. There's lots of street food here, and I had barbequed chicken kidneys, fried fish, fried potato, filled baguettes etc. I also sampled some local beers, which were pretty good! One evening, whilst searching for food in an area I hadn't explored, I discovered multiple football games being played in the street with tiny goal posts. The games didn't stop for anything and they took priority as cars had to stop and tentatively navigate the football field.
© 2018-2020 Stephen Matthews, Biking Over Yonder