Beyla to Kankan – journey through the green hell – new episode By AfricAsiaEuro.com –
We leave early at 06.00 a.m. from Beyla moving towards Kankan in the morning. As expected, we face the next stretch of rough road and see the same old rain forest.
Large, unbelievable sizes of water-filled potholes slow us down and make our journey a hell, once again.
My heart always jumps at the sight of one, in particular, almost the size of a swimming pool, though not as deep.
Kankan – Northern Guinea
We make it slowly through the forests, the roads in unimaginable condition, not better than in Roman times. Sometimes driving at 5 mph, I think about how long it will take me to reach Kankan, today’s final destination.
No time to stop for a rest, just to get out of this jungle is my only thought, for I am slowly getting tired of this menacing place. I cannot see the beauty of the forest, the sometimes appearing rice paddies. And still Kankan seems so far away.
It is getting stale to my eyes, I am possessed by one thought, to get out finally and find my truck and passengers.
I reach a French Cotton plantation with its ginnery in the afternoon.
Not far from Kankan
Now I know I am not far from my destination. Another checkpoint at the entrance of Kankan, this time much more subtle than in the southern part of the country.
Tired and completely worn out I pay up the compulsory bribe and pass through till I enter the city of Kankan, the largest in the north of Guinea.
At the time the Renault truck left its home, an agreement was struck. If nothing is heard from the occupants for 3 weeks – we should meet up in Kankan.
Neither knew anything about the city, the sheer size would indicate that some facilities are available. A decent Hotel, shower, AC, is all I long for after days of driving through the uninhabitable territory.
Sometimes you feel like an explorer, for many hours not a soul on the road. What a view to see people, moving in cars, going after their business, shops, marketers, the whole lot.
Joy comes up, and the thought of a hot bath does the rest. When I roll into the town, I am overcome by some deja vu.
I know that in this remote city I will come across something that I expect to find here.
The exhaust system has suffered much on the road, and during the last 100 km, a bolder has ripped off the muffler. By now the car sounds like a stock car in the Grand price of Indiana.
I find the first mechanic welder, and he does the job in minutes.
When I ask for directions to the next hotel, I am guided through the city’s only main road. Hotel Bate is not far away, I am told.
The main square is reached quickly, and I slow down instinctively, as always to be watchful not to hit anyone crossing the dusty main street.
For the unlucky one that hits a jaywalker could be lynched. My luck has brought me through all the perils and dangers one can face.
I search the streets carefully, the roads to see a familiar face. Nothing has crossed my eyes so far.
When we reach the main communication center with the telecom office and massive microwave link transmission tower, I suddenly hear my name being shouted from across the street, a familiar voice well known.
Kankan meeting on dusty road
I have found my employee who comes to me and hugs me like a long lost brother, and I can understand the emotion.
Finally, we are reunited, after nearly 4 weeks of uncertainty, anxious moments have come to an end.
We are in Kankan, Guinea, after all, the city where we have planned to meet…
Next: Relaxation and retrieval of the truck