Africa Plus travel blog

Type of Dwellings Along the Road #1441

Grain Storage Building Outside Compound Walls

More Grain Storage Buildings

Village Compound #1446

Actually, we came in to this fine town late in the day of the 15th from PortoNovo since our bus tickets indicated that we would leave at 2 am the morning of 16th for the 15 hour ride to Niamey, Niger. We had a fine Chinese dinner near the station, then I went next door for a big dish of ice cream where we sat around til almost 11. Jake and I went to the station and the fellow there provided us with mattresses so we could rest...Bon and Mari showed up later. Unfortunately, there were a few too many mosquitoes to relax so didn't rest well. Finally, around 2:30 a bus rolled in and a bunch of people piled out proceeding to get mattresses as well and lie down. We were a bit confused until finally we found out this was indeed the bus to Niamey but it was originating from Accra! Needless to say we were a bit disappointed and even more a bit concerned about seats since it looked full to us. Also, opening the luggage compartments under neath there was very little room, tho they did push and shove and finally got our packs in! The next thing we knew the 'conductor' guy was asking us to come up to the door after everyone else had entered the bus, so we got on and magically after some other passengers moved their stuff etc we had seats, and with conditions being packed they weren't bad = two right by the door(no one in front of Bon & Mari), Jake got a window seat near the front altho the guy next to him was huge and took half of Jake's seat as well, and I ended up in front next to the driver and his asst.

We pulled out at 3:30 am, the roads for at least 2/3rds of the way were bad, pot holes, bumpy, and in the dark at bit scary since many times we came upon trucks stalled or broken down...but at least it was cooler than daytime travel. At the border about 12 hours later it took over an hour and a half to cross which would not have been a big thing except now in Niger it seemed the driver was not in any hurry...we stopped at least 4 more times so a drive that should have only been 4 hours took 7 and we arrived at 11 pm.

While in daylight in Benin we must have passed at least 50 large transport semis filled to bulging...actually tarped high with cotton. The entire road on both sides had tons of little white balls of cotton all along the way.

A little aside: They use small plastic bags in most of these W. African countries now instead of bottles for drinking water consequently everywhere you go along the streets in towns and roadways in the countryside there are thousands of these empty platic bags!!

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