|Conakry the capital of Guinea - what can I say.
Heading into the city the countryside was as usual very pretty but the nearer we got and the urban sprawl started so did the rubbish heaps and the shanty towns and the centre of the city wasn't much better. We were supposed to camp on the lawns of a hotel overlooking the ocean but the storm we had encountered the night before had also dumped on the city and the swimming pool and half the lawn had been inundated and wasn't safe for camping. For such a dismal city the price of accommodation was way out of our budget so we didn't know where we would be able to find space then the hotel owner a Lebanese man came to our rescue and allowed us to camp in his back yard - using his staff's one toilet and cold shower - you'd think we'd be used to it by this stage but we live in hope - and personally I prefer a bush toilet to one shared between 17.
He is obviously doing OK the back yard was plenty big enough for all of our tents around his swimming pool tho it hadn't been cleaned and wasn't fit for use - pity. Had another big rain overnight and this time one of the tents sprang a leak and Holly had her bag soaked all her sleeping gear and all of her clothes were wet.
The city was as expected - went to their Botanic Gardens which turned out to be a jungle with part of it being used as a garden centre apparently they used to have elephants wandering around in it but as one local said to us - 'the military took over' enough said.
The market was huge but also very dirty and we never did find the Artisan Market - if it still exists.
Spent some time in an Internet cafe and when we came out the street was closed to traffic - their president had flown to 'Mecca and was arriving home ... so all streets near the palace closed. A helicopter brought him from the airport and then he had about a km to get to the peoples palace with a cavalcade of police and military - he was in a car with about 10 soldiers hanging off the outside. Then lots of his followers behind. We would have liked to take some photos but have been warned often not to even have cameras visible if the military are around.
Not a place I have any urge to return to although to be fair the people are as friendly as any we met.
Leaving Conakry was a repeat of entering as it is on a peninsula so long and narrow city with so many markets and so many people but the road was tarmac and didn't have many pot holes - almost missed the thrill of the bumpy ride.