16 September 2006

post-Gambia travel plans - come along!

So it's a bit early to give much thought to my post-service travel plans (although the time is coming quickly - July 2007). But those of you in the real, workaday world, who may be inclined to join me for some of my wanderings but would have to budget and allocate time, deserve a sneak peak to consider it.

Here are my plans, such as they are. Essentially, I am going overland to Ghana, where I would probably then spend at least a few weeks. Everything in between is up in the air.

DEFINITE features of my itinerary:

- visiting Guinea, where a good friend is working (in Conakry), and where there is beautiful hiking (in the Futa Djalon);

- visiting Guinea-Bissau, and checking out the archipelagos just off the coast for a few days;

- the aforementioned return to Ghana after 8 years, to catch up with friends across the country;

- a visit to Senegal's Casamance region, intermittent skirmishes permitting

POSSIBLE waypoints and stops on the journey:

- Bamako-Dakar train - something I'd really like to do

- Togo

- Benin (esp. Abomey)

- perhaps Niger, and even Nigeria?

So, if you are interested in any or all of this trip, give it some thought and get in touch with me soon-soon. My plans are pretty flexible, so someone could join me just for a couple of weeks, and I could come meet you in whatever city you fly into. Getting here is expensive, but travelling around is more reasonable. There's not a lot of wildlife compared to east and southern Africa, but I was thinking of visiting a game park and traipsing around behind some elephants. Plus The Gambia has hippos! (Mali does too.)

I'm not too picky about what I need from a companion on the road. It couldn't hurt if you knew a little French. Mine is awful, but enough to get by on. Wolof isn't of much use beyond Gambia and Senegal, although some people spoke it in Mauritania. I will try to learn a little more Fula, but their dialects vary.

Come travel around West Africa with me! If I'd used my digital camera, I could have put up some pictures of Mauritania, which was a pretty amazing trip. Maybe I'll go through some of the other volunteers' files. My writeup on that adventure is coming soon.

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