Sunday, December 20, 2009

First leg ...

I got into Ouagadoudou at 3am in the morning; after a whirlwind few days in Tripoli!

My Libyan host gave me an excellent driver who spoke very little English but did remarkably well and taught me bits of arabic - mainly involved swearing at drivers and had me laughing a lot about the antics of crazy Libyan drivers - you'd have to know Tripoli to understand!!!
Libya was incredible; mainly due to a very good friend of mine - who introduced me to another friend who is Libyan. He totally looked after me, saying a million 'shukrans' wasnt quite enough.
Tripoli was great, although I was constantly worried about not being 'dressed' covered up as much as possible but must remember to buy blouses that can touch my knees!!! The town is so different to what I expected but I dont know exactly what I expected, but did enjoy it. The place is booming, construction going on all over, top western brands moving into flash showrooms, new cars and fast food joints selling 'fried viagra' !!! Its aiming to be the Dubai of the med!

So I got into Ouaga; the airport is a disaster ... so little infrastructure. Got a bit of a shock last night when arriving at the check-in counter, they had bumped me off as it was full and the flight was going to Bamako before Ouaga ... but managed to get myself back on it at the last minute & raced through immigration to be last at the gate.

We landed an hour late at 3am which wasnt bad. I found a friendly honest taxi driver, fought off a few phonecard touts + bounced down the dimly lit city streets into the 'village' of Ouaga or thats how it felt; weirdly enough I was missing Tripoli and wanting to be back there! I think I woke most of the auberge that Danika, Maddy and I stayed in 2years ago whilst trying to wake the guardien to let me in and see if they had a room, did the usual trick of no booking prior to arriving but it all worked out fine. Sadly the auberge has gone downhill a little, chairs broken, plaster peeling off but still has the same charm and very quiet in the centre of town with a few French staying there.

My first morning in Ouaga I was up and at 'Service des Passeports' on the Bobo road out of Ouaga for the Burkina Immigration authorities having a VTE visa (5 countries) so that I could enter Cote d'Ivoire on it. I immediately got another taxi across town to purchase a bus ticket (breaking all my own rules) for 11pm the following night to Bouake in CI arriving around 4pm day after, so an overnight journey which is usually a no-no for me but needs must + the ticket selling lady let me choose a place, crossing my fingers we wouldn't meet with an elephant at Boromo in the middle of the night!

So, for the second day running I was waiting to get my passport back; I'd applied two days previously for my Burkina visa in Tripoli and got it back 4pm the day of departing Tripoli after a bit of a battle with embassy staff.

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