A glimpse into my backyard - Boe, Guinea Bissau, W-Africa. Pic heavy!

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by jestragon, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. jestragon

    jestragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    224
    Location:
    Until recently W-Africa, temp. Leipzig Germany
    I lost this post last night due to a login/logout issue :cry

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    Oh well, I'l try again.

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    Not so much a day ride report as a glimpse into the riding "in my backyard", of the Boé, 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:<o:p></o:p>
    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:<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>

    The Guinea-Bissau/Guinea-Conakry border is often marked by big piles of stones:
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr

    People are intensely hospitable despite abject poverty, and will invite you to share their food almost everywhere:
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr

    A lot of semi-nomadic cattle herders, they tend to cause big bush fires:
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr

    Some savannah views, rainy and dry season:<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . 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.
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>

    Some water:<o:p></o:p>
    a low-lying area that gets flooded, you end up riding miles through occasionally pretty deep water:<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr

    One of the worst areas, a lot of trucks get stuck here in the rainy season:
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr

    Some streams you can cross:<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    Crossing was easy, getting the bikes up on this end was not:
    [​IMG]
    . 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):<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr
    <o:p></o:p>
    Or, if there's a semi-reliable cable ferry...<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Which can't reach the banks in the peak of the rains...</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>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...</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr
    </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    A trip I made with two colleagues to a nearby (as the crow flies) mining town in neighbouring Guinea Conakry:<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr
    monument from the independence war, ended in '74:<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    . by jestragon, on Flickr<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>


    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
    #1
  2. nevermind

    nevermind sLOW Rider

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    Very cool shots! I'd be concerned about getting jumped on by a big cat, riding through that tall grass!!!
    #2
  3. jestragon

    jestragon Been here awhile

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    Until recently W-Africa, temp. Leipzig Germany
    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.
    #3
  4. JGR

    JGR I ride in jeans.

    Joined:
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    Beautiful! Thanks!
    #4
  5. nadolski

    nadolski Adventurer

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    Shingle Springs CA
    Interesting to see what its like to ride on the other side of the planet! Beautiful country thanks for Sharing.
    #5
  6. jestragon

    jestragon Been here awhile

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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 Boé 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.
    #6
  7. NotAllWhoWanderRLost

    NotAllWhoWanderRLost Lost

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    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. :beer
    #7
  8. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Very cool
    #8
  9. fuggy

    fuggy Canyon Explorer

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    Enjoyed these pics! Looks like a great place to ride
    #9
  10. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Great pictures. Thanks for sharing!
    #10
  11. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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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!
    #11
  12. DualSPRTfan

    DualSPRTfan Been here awhile

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    fantastic pics, amazing location.

    You really do have a great area to ride in. Very jealous.:D
    #12
  13. WetSideRider

    WetSideRider Long timer

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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 :rofl

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Thanks for posting your RR jestragon. Great photos.
    :thumb



    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

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    Thanks for sharing, jestdragon! :D
    #15
  16. miniceptor86

    miniceptor86 Adventurer

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    Thanks for sharing!!
    #16
  17. westfrogger

    westfrogger Moron with a bike

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    Bottom left corner of Africa
    :clap
    #17
  18. Groovemaster

    Groovemaster Adventurer

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    You're a very lucky man to be where you are. I was in Kenya a year ago and would love to go ride through there. Happy Trails.
    #18
  19. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

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    Great pics! That intense green grass -- wow.

    I seem to remember hearing something about a coup attempt in Guinea-Bissau last year. That must have been... interesting.
    #19
  20. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University

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    Can any of our Europe based Aprilia inmates help you with sourcing the bits you need?


    LOVING the pics!

    Moar!!!
    #20