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Manu | 25 March 2013 | no comments

 

In the jungle of Guinea everyday rains at 5pm!

In the jungle of Guinea everyday rains at 5pm!

Leaving the heat of Conakry and slowly approaching the jungle has been refreshing.

My_1st_impressions_ (1) back to the truck

Truck life didn’t change much

I rejoined the truck in Coyah after a week in the Guinean capital and found out that Jen, the Candian girl, was gone and Britney the American one was still there but had messed up and confused a lot of people in the last days changing her mind about staying or leaving too often to be given trust again.

From there we start our long way towards East, to Ivory Coast.

Speechless is the only way to admire the jungle. The Nature and the trees slowly leave their Savannah spoiled look and become magnificent, they get their most beautiful green dress of palm leaves, bamboos and mangos shadows and astonish you with their vibrant, full and rich sight of Nature at its most beautiful.

On the first night approaching the jungle, we bush camped on the side of the road, next to a small village who accepted to have our truck and tends parked next to their houses with a lot of curiosity and kindness.

The locals getting closer to observe us

The locals getting closer to observe us

By the time we started to put the tends up, the entire village was around the truck observing us. And so it as for the rest of the evening, until it got dark. We played with the children who got really excited to get photos of themselves and to press the camera button as well, same for the women who always smiled ad laughed when we asked if we could take photos of them and with them. They were some of the most pacific and curious people ever met, and even if the language barrier didn’t allow us to have great conversations, it still felt like we managed to create a connection among us. We shared our dinner with them and the day after they came to say goodbye like if we were old friends. It was a beautiful moment of connections between our two worlds that are so distant and different and that for a moment shared a bite of life together.

When we left we headed towards the jungle. We droe for the entire day in the heat and we were pretty exhausted when it finally started to rain.

My_1st_impressions_ (2) Leaving the Savannah

The long nd dusty roads of the jungle

Anna Begga had read somewhere that it always rain at 5pm in the Guinean jungle, but we all thought it was a joke until our first night there when around 5pm the sky suddenly became dark and full of water and after few minutes it started to pour tons of water on the truck. We had to stop where we were, in the middle of the forest, as the rain was so heavy that the visibility was gone. We stopped just outside an old building in the middle of the forest that said Auberge, hotel, and decided to stay there for the night.

And then it started to rain!

And then it started to rain!

How good the rain was that day is just imaginable. It was welcomed with joy by all of us. We were waiting for it. When it started to get cloudy we all started to be impatient and when the first drops hit the truck and we realized it was rain we couldn’t believe to our eyes. It had been way too warm that day, we were exhausted for the first drive in the jungle and we were all tired and dirty, but that rain was simply one of the best moment we had since the beginning of the trip. Some of us went out to have a shower, the air started to become fresher and to cancel that sense of heavy humid heat we had experienced so far. It was almost two months we didn’t see any rain, since we were in Fes, Morocco, and here , in the middle of the jungle, with the temperatures around 40 degrees during the day, it felt really good.

Ester showing photos to the locals

Ester showing photos to the locals

For the locals, who just lived across the road, we might have been looked like foolish and funny creatures to be observed at a closer eye, so as soon as the storm was gone they all started to get closer and closer to look at us.
You are never alone in Africa. The presence of its beautiful people everywhere seems almost a gift to make you feel less lonely in its dark nights. Even in the jungle, even where you think there is
nobody, someone will come out of the forest to look at you. We are now getting used to this, but it’s still astonishing to see them al coming out of the bush, where you think no person could live. And their kindness and friendly approach is astonishing as well, considering they may have never seen white people before. They are some of the most pacific people I have ever met in life, so human that the distance among us got cancelled by their smile.

The "hotel" where we spent our first night in th jungle

The “hotel” where we spent our first night in th jungle

The first night in the jungle, in the auberge where we stopped, was for some of us unforgettable. While I slept on the truck and I am till happy for it, some of us slept in the tiny rooms of the hotel ,and had some of their lifetime experiences in them. Jo , Sam and Thor shared their room with some chicken and could barely sleep, while the girls shared their ones with a pigeon. The toilet of the hotel was at the back of the building and consisted literally of a hole in the ground.

We were all dirty and happy to leave that place in the morning, but rather bush camping next time.

Locals surrounding us on our 2nd night in the jungle

Locals surrounding us on our 2nd night in the jungle

It seems impossible to be here, to look around and see all the green around, the Nature wraps us and those who live here and with whom we shared few moments of our existences together for a lonely moment of our lives. It’s a unique sensation of being alive, being part of life and its circle, its wonder and its rhythm. Those we consider our priorities in our daily world, like having a shower, have a different meaning around here and loose much of their importance when we face life at its most spoiled and unveiled way: this is the inner richness I feel I am gaining from this whole trip, from the jungle, from the Nature, from these people I admire so much and whose smile and open heart towards the foreigners teach me what the real meaning of “welcoming” is.

As per the desert, the jungle is also alive, full of life, full of people, stories to tell. Everyday it’s new adventure, everyday we wonder what else can happen and everyday something new and strange or weird or fantastic or funny happens for sure….

 

with the kids of the jungle

with the kids of the jungle

Lasciare il caldo e l’afa di Conakry ed avvicinarsi pian piano alla giungla è stato rinfrescante.

A Coyah sono ritornata al camion dopo una settimana di assenza ed ho trovato tante novità ad attendermi. Jen, la canadese, se ne è tornata a csaa inspiegabilmente e Britney, l’americana, è ancora là ma ha creato una gran confusione nel gruppo cambiando idea continuamente riguardo alla sua decisione di rimanere o lasciare.

My_1st_impressions_ (7) the jungle view

Approaching the jungle

Da Coyah, abbiamo dunque ripreso la lunga strada verso Est, verso la Costa D’Avorio e ci siamo diretti verso la giungla.

Senza parlare è l’unico modo per ammirare la giungla. La Natura e i suoi alberi lentamente abbandonano il loro look spoglio della Savana e diventano magnifici, si vestono del loro verde più intenso di foglie di palme, bamboo e alberi di mango e stupiscono con la loro vista vibrante e ricca di vita ed energia.

Women of the jungle

Women of the jungle

Nella prima notte avvicinandosi alla giungla, abbiamo campeggiato da qualche parte al lato della strada, vicino ad un piccolo villaggio i cui abitanti con tanta curiosità e gentilezza hanno accettato di avere il camion e le loro tende parcheggiati accanto alle loro case.

Il tempo di montare le tende e l’intero villaggio è arrivato ad osservarci attorno al camion. E lì sono rimasti per il resto della serata, fino a quando è scesa la notte. Abbiamo passato tutta la sera giocando con i bambini, che erano contentissimi di farsi fare foto e di vedersi poi nella macchina fotografica o di premere il pulsante per scattare le foto. Anche le donne del villaggio si sono fatte coinvolgere e ci donavano sempre un sorriso quando gli chiedevamo di poter fare una foto con loro. Quelle persone sono state finora alcune delle persone più pacifiche che io abbia mai incontrato, e anche se la barriera linguistica non ci permetteva di avere lunghe conversazioni, la sensazione che avevamo creato una connessione tra di noi è rimasta forte e per tutta la sera.

Our little fans

Our little fans

Abbiamo condiviso la cena con loro e il giorno dopo sono venuti a salutarci quando siamo ripartiti, proprio come vecchi amici. È stato un momento di connessione stupendo tra due mondi che sono così distanti e diversi tra di loro e che per un momento si sono incontrati e hanno condiviso un battito della loro vita assieme.

Quel giorno, quando siamo ripartiti, ci siamo avviati verso la giungla. Abbiamo guidato per tutto il giorno nel calore e nell’afa dell’Africa ed eravamo abbastanza esausti quando all’improvviso, alla fine della giornata, ha iniziato a piovere.

The day it began to rain

The day it began to rain

Anna Begga aveva letto da qualche parte che nella giungla piove sempre alle 5 di pomeriggio, e tutti noi ci abbiamo giocato per giorni fino a quando abbiamo constatato che era vero, che il cielo verso le 5 diventa davvero scuro, le nuvole si caricano di acqua, l’aria si fa greve e umida ed all’improvviso esplode in un temporale violentissimo che cancella l’afa e rinfresca l’aria e l’anima. Il temporale era talmente forte che ci siamo dovuti fermare lì dove eravamo, nel mezzo della foresta, perché pioveva così forte che non si vedeva niente nemmeno a pochi metri di distanza. Ci siamo fermati proprio davanti ad un vecchio edificio con la scritta Auberge, albergo, e deciso di pernottare là per la notte. È impossibile descrivere quanto quella pioggia sia stata rinfrescante ed accolta con gioia da tutti noi. La stavamo aspettando e da tanto. Quando le nuvole hanno iniziato ad oscurarsi e a caricarsi di pioggia e quando le prime gocce di pioggia hanno iniziato a cadere pesanti sul camion non credevamo i nostri occhi. Il caldo era stato opprimente fino a quel momento, eravamo esausti, sporchi e stanchi, e sentire la pioggia sulla nostra pelle è stato uno dei migliori momenti dall’inizio del viaggio. Alcuni di noi sono usciti dal camion e si sono letteralmente fatti la doccia sotto la pioggia, mentre l’aria diventava molto più fresca e leggera. Era da quasi due mesi che non vedevamo la pioggia, da quando eravamo in Fes, in Marocco, e lì, nel bel mezzo della giungla, con una temperatura media di 40 gradi durante il giorno, è stata davvero una sensazione stupenda.

They are singing in the rain

They are singing in the rain

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