Conakry and Freetown, Africa
Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on December 8, 2010
It’s the first of December and its Barry Baking!
The last few days have been quite frustrating. We spent 36’ish hours in Conakry, I say in, what I mean is, is that were confined to ship due to the ship raising the security level from 1 to 2 – not really too sure what the difference is!
Going on deck was also prohibited due to safety as the cars were being craned ashore.
Conakry Port was stinking, on one side was a huge cement type factory producing a dusty haze and a blanket of white dust everywhere. The port was heaving with people with very little to do – too many people just stood around which made for a strange atmosphere though obviously we were 12 floors up watching them watching us!
The town itself was spread out behind the port – at night it was eerily quiet and there was not one light on in the town, not sure if this was due to a curfew or whether the electricity is erratic in Conakry?
The following day we left Conakry and set sail for Freetown, approximately 180km/5 hours by Ship.
As we approached Freetown, a sprawling city covering several tree covered hills, like a mini Rio, we all got very excited and several of us decided that we were going to go ashore that night come what may. With this in mind, we approached the Third Officer and told him of our intentions and he was fine though did warn us that Freetown is extremely dangerous, more so at night and certainly around the port area. Unperturbed, we were going in.
At this point the Third Officer disappeared and we therefore couldn’t get our passports so for the third day running we were confined to ship, seriously hacked off!
Disregarding the fact that cars were being craned off the main deck (dangerous) we took our wine and cameras up and got steadily more ratted as the evening drew on. It was quite interesting watching the cars being lifted off and lowered, though having now seen the whole process I would never ever have my car cargo’d across the World.
I say that though, all the decent motors – brand new Porches and the like are contained in the hull, safe and secure. Chatting with one of the officers I’d mentioned that most of the cars on the deck were right old bangers and he told me that a lot of people actually use the cars as ‘containers’ as its considerably cheaper to move goods this way, plus they have a car at the other end.
However, once they hit the deck, tens of people descend on each car – all doors opened, the boot popped and each and every car was rifled for goods, literally one car after another was stripped of whatever they were carrying.
It’s 9am on the 1st December and the continent of Africa is behind us as we head south west.
Next stop, Brasil!