Decemeber 2012: ‘Labé, the capital of Guinea-Conakry, up in the Fouta Djallon, is motorcycle city, overrun with thousands of Chinese-made bikes – and ‘moto taxis’ are the way to travel, carrying a minimum of 2-3 passengers a piece. As we walked around the town, we had to constantly dart out of the way as a ‘moto’ zoomed towards us, at maximum speed– within inches of us – “à ton, à ton!” (we have this expression: ‘taking no prisoners’, which seemed rather apt, on the frenetic, horn-blaring, streets of the capital, as we leapt and scurried out the pathway of motorcycles, coming from all directions!). “In Labé, there are too many accidents every day.” Saif (our local fixer) told us, as he led us through the dusty, stinking, dirty, litter-filled streets of the downtown area. Despite the moto-taxi dodging, and the putrid aromas, Labè is a vibrant, animated, friendly place – ‘Jarama’s’ (local Pula language greeting), “bonjour’s”, and “ca va’s”, abound, from every smiling, curious (intrigued by the two ‘portos’ – white people/European) person we pass’ – words by Helen Jones-Florio – extract from ‘The Long and Winding Road… Kedougou, Senegal – Labé, Guinea-Conakry – and back again‘ Read more on the River Gambia Expedition blog.
In early December, 2012 – mid-January, 2013, we followed the course of one of Africa’s last major free-flowing rivers – the River Gambia. Along the way, Jason documented the everyday life of those people who’s lives depend on the river.
From the source of the of the river – in the Fouta Djallon Highlands of Guinea-Conakry, through the riverside goldmines of south west Senegal, on into The Republic of The Gambia itself, where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean – we had an incredible journey, discovering the regions that we passed through; including dodging hippos and hair raising moto-taxi rides with stoned bikers! Welcome to behind the scenes of our River Gambia travels…
We hope you enjoyed the ride. You may also like to check out our Floriotravels Youtube page, where you can see snippets of our journey in motion.
Updates coming soon on our pending travels, back down to West Africa
The Florios – Helen & Jason
All images © Jason Florio
Image# 22-23 – ‘Mogadishu-148 hours‘ Somalia, 2011
Image# 24-27 – ‘Makasutu‘ The Gambia, 1997-2008
Image# 28 – 32 – ‘Silafando‘ The Gambia, 2009
Image# 33 – 41 – ‘River Gambia‘ West Africa, 2012-13
Check out Part 1 of an anthology (images 1-21) here.
The stories behind Jason’s ‘Silafando‘ and ‘River Gambia‘ images can be found on our other blogs: ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – 930km African odyssey‘ 2009, and ‘River Gambia Expedition – 1044km source-sea African odyssey‘ 2012-13.
More news coming soon.
The Florios – Helen & Jason