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Old 02-02-2013, 05:43 AM   #1
jestragon OP
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Location: Until recently W-Africa, temp. Leipzig Germany
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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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Old 02-02-2013, 06:03 AM   #2
nevermind
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Very cool shots! I'd be concerned about getting jumped on by a big cat, riding through that tall grass!!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
jestragon OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevermind View Post
Very cool shots! I'd be concerned about getting jumped on by a big cat, riding through that tall grass!!!
Thanks!

There might be a few lions here, never seen one myself, never caught one on a trail camera either. There are a fair number of leopards, but they stay pretty well hidden, there are also hyenas and possibly wild dogs. The large mammals I see most often while on the bike are several species of primates (patas and green monkey, guinea baboon) and warthogs.

The animals that cause the most deaths (other than mosquitoes and humans) here are snakes, but there have been cases of injured leopards attacking and killing poachers and last December a wounded buffalo gored and killed a young guy.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
JGR
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Beautiful! Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
nadolski
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Great Report

Interesting to see what its like to ride on the other side of the planet! Beautiful country thanks for Sharing.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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Jgr and Nadolski: my pleasure! I'm in the capital at the moment waiting for a bad hand infection to clear up, two guys just turned up tonight, one on an older Tenere, the other I'm not sure, I'm going to try to persuade them to go to the Bo to ride.

My aprilia needs some love, so while I'm stuck here healing, I'm thinking of everything I want to do to get my bike up to scratch (and whether it's worth it, not sure how easy it will be to ride it back to Europe and get it licensed there). Parts for the Rotax engine are fairly easy to find in Europe, anything for the bike itself is pretty much impossible. Anything for big bikes is impossible to find here.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
NotAllWhoWanderRLost
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Thumb

Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your part of the world, the scenery is amazing! The chimpanzee conservation work sounds like it would be a lot of fun and quite an adventure. I hope your hand heals up quick so you can keep adding photos of your travels.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
Domromer
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Very cool
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:08 PM   #9
fuggy
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Enjoyed these pics! Looks like a great place to ride
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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Great pictures. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:50 PM   #11
RedRockRider
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Great pics. Heal up. Get back out there.

Gotta love West Africa. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo 1986-88. Rode a little Yamaha DT100 on every paved road in Togo, and lots of red dirt. Mud in the rainy season.

Carry on!
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
DualSPRTfan
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fantastic pics, amazing location.

You really do have a great area to ride in. Very jealous.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:15 AM   #13
WetSideRider
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Thanks for sharing your pictures. The sight of two birds hanging on the back of the bike makes me ask about camping and cooking. That looks like it takes way more skill than Ramen

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Old 02-28-2013, 11:17 PM   #14
PinkPillion
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Thanks for posting your RR jestragon. Great photos.




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Old 02-28-2013, 11:52 PM   #15
L.B.S.
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Thanks for sharing, jestdragon!
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