Friday, November 16, 2012

Where to Next?

When I saw the Overlanding West Africa site (, I knew that our next trip would be through West Africa. Eureka!! We're off on January 9. We'll be overlanding through Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. I've added a couple of maps so you know where we're going.

Many have asked us: "Why West Africa". Our travel doctor told us it was the most dangerous place on earth!! Bugs, disease, and personal safety, I think he was referring to. The simple answer is it's beautiful...and once you have been to Africa it has a habit of grabbing your soul and never letting go. The longer answer is that I lived there when I was a kid. My Dad was a construction engineer on a diamond mine in Ghana and Sierra Leone. Unfortunately, the mines are either destroyed or not operating, and there is no infrastructure that I could tap into to go back for a visit. Besides, you can never "go back"! We were looking for something interesting to do for January and February and had decided on renting a house in Oaxaca in Mexico with a possible couple of weeks in Puerto Escondido. Sounds like fun? It did to me....until I told my daughter. "What", she exclaimed, "Go to Mexico? You guys can't do that. Everyone goes to Mexico on holiday." So, it was back to the drawing board. Sitting in my armchair I toured the world. Finally I landed on Bali. Everyone wants to go to Bali, right? So I thought. But Ray said no. I think it was more the isolation of the writer's retreat that I was looking at that didn't appeal to him rather than Bali itself!! So, recovering from the rebuff of the Bali suggestion, I was cruising my FaceBook site when I saw the link for Overlanding West Africa posted by Tony Embling (our driver from our Oasis trip to South America). I opened it up! The picture in the banner that day was one of a palm-tree lined, brick-red dirt, avenue along the edge of the ocean. My heart pulled me through the pictures on  the web site of mud logged roads, baobab trees, children's glowing, black, faces, and colourful kente cloths worn by the local people. The trip description talked about wildlife, music, hiking and trekking, bike riding, beaches, getting stuck in the mud, and of course the unique and scintillating African culture.I was hooked. Fortunately, it didn't take Ray long to get on the bandwagon! And so....David, Jimmy, and we come!!  Stay posted!! But a word of warning. I will try my hardest to keep this blog current, but I do know that there may be periods of time, up to or over 17 days, when we will not have access to the Internet. So, please be patient!!