Bobo Dioulasso or Bobo, Burkina Faso, West Africa
Monday, September 17, 2007
I have listened to enough people traveling in West Africa to know there is guidebook confusion, 99 percent of the people came to volunteer in a country, then decided to go visit neighboring country. Semi, saying, I will never come back, so I am going next door to look, just to see if I should come back, before I make the final decision.
I have listened to people explain why they did not buy the West African version of Lonely Planet or Rough Guides or whatever else is on the market. I have listened to a few explain why they purchased one of the Bradt Guides to one country, then NEED to borrow my Rough Guide to West Africa.http://www.bradt-travelguides.com
Most say the book the West African versions are too big to carry, so they refuse to be informed to go to some of the most dangerous countries on the planet, which does not make sense.
There is some mysterious guidebook vacuum here, I have now used the Lonely Planet and the Rough Guides, the Rough Guides is making a serious attempt, and I feel Lonely Planet is putting books on the shelf to capture their loyal readers like me, who started with Lonely Planet and are too lazy to learn another guidebook. A good way to make money, not the best person to write a guidebook.
I think about writing a guidebook, however, my reasons are wrong, I do not love any country enough to devote the time needed to one country. I would write a guidebook to make money; this is not a good reason. However, being I continually read guidebooks, and continually muse on this annoying thought in my head, I keep searching for a reason to write a guidebook, I think I am bored, maybe feel a project is needed. It much easier to criticize guidebooks than to write one.
Africa takes last place for places Backpacker want to go and this is probably the last place anyone should go, not the first.
I am slowly convincing myself that Africa is easy to travel, the people in spurts can be more annoying than India, after I think about it, most of Africa is flat, this makes Bus travel easy, it is too expensive, and that makes the average backpacker want to not stay long. French is the big obstacle, however 50/50 on French and Spanish, there has to be just as many people who want to learn French as Spanish in Schools, people go to South America in swarms.
I know people are afraid of Africa, and like I said, this should be the last place on your list to come, not the first. However, most people who come here have never traveled farther than the Church or their University.
I think I am thinking about Craig of Travelvice.com.http://www.travelvice.com
I talk, write, ask push and shove, and this person just doe not want to come to West Africa. I have offered free places to stay, even more or less said I would give him some money if he helps make some pages.
I have tried with Mark of the site
Hmmm Wade? He is presently in Morocco I think.http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/
I do not know Wade, I have met Craig and Mark, Wade as I wade around in my thoughts is more of a long-term traveler. Mark is back at home in the USA, and does not seem to have an exit strategy. Craig just got some girl pregnant from Peru and is going to Peru; I need to keep my mouth closed on this, as it is his choice of lives, not mine.
Wade, what is he up too?
I guess I think I need partners in Crime, I think writing a guide needs balance and one person just is too skewed, it is very easy to not like a country, and there is no clear reason, just something about the country is annoying.
Money, money, and more money, how to buy time, this is the problem with a guidebook.
There is this guidebook by Lonely Planet I saw one time, a book more or less how to travel from England I think to Katmandu, Nepal I think by land. I have some ideas about this type of book and more or less think some people who are counting countries would buy a guidebook about Africa that would explain the cheapest way to go from Morocco to somewhere by land, I am not sure where, Nigeria is a problem.
I have not met anyone who wants to travel across Africa, however, I think the people who are counting countries or the ones bored with the easy stuff like Southeast Asia or South America would want to do a cross Africa trip. I have not met anybody who wanted to go and stay a couple of months in one country as a tourist, the Volunteers are a Romanized, sanitized, idealist never never land then need spanked and sent home, the NGO need shot, or tortured and shot, not people I will associate with in this life or the next.
What is that British saying, something about giving it a lick? There are people who would like to do a taste test of Africa, before they gave it a serious time investment. I am trying to calculate the time needed to go on an India style trip of Africa, just the main spots and out the door, and the jumps people make in India are amazingly long distances.
There is so little to see in Africa it is also annoying, I love ethnic cultures, therefore I love to see the cultural distinctions, the sudden change in languages and how they look. This is not normal, to make a list of why to come to Burkina Faso is a problem. What should you go and see in Togo, I do not know, nothing pops out as a good reason to go to Togo. Ghana has some great Castles, and Cape Coast is for sure a good place to visit, I think the Village of Yeji is special.
This is the reason why a taste of each Africa country, the persons counting countries can add a lot to their list, I think a person could travel the majority of West Africa easily in two months and strangely see the majority of tourist attractions.
I do not know, there is nobody I know wanting to come to Africa, I do not get reader saying, I am coming to Africa, ok, one couple, but this is not normal. If I go to Thailand, I get many, and if I go to Europe, the numbers of people who KNOW… hehehe are bothersome, however to blog about Africa is annoying to most readers. The ones that think Africa needs help are abundant, but this is also crazy, I think Africa is doing very well, they just need a kick in the butt and the world need stop helping or giving them money, making welfare babies does not help them.
A Taste of Africa…
I am thinking of turning the speed up, and taking some just the cream off the top taste of Mali, Guinea, etc up to Morocco in a quick sprint. Morocco is not my favorite country, so more or less in the way, and obstacle.
I always want a guidebook to be fatter, more, now I am saying less, smaller, strange how I must never hold to one consistent way of thinking or it causes problems. I must continually adapt, and change, to say something, and then do it the say as I say is foolish.
How far am I from Morocco? The Kilometers is not important, it is the bus time that counts, the on the seat time. I am going to the one long-distance bus station today, see what my options are.African Guidebooks
Nice piece of work keep it up.
Andy, I agree with what you say about the lonely planet. They are cruising on their reputation and going downhill. Much better is rough guide and the footprint handbooks. KC
It is very difficult to understand tourist in West Africa. There are only the Voluteers or NGOs being tourist.
This is not normal tourist and causes problems for the country when all we do is say they are poor, or need help.
I would rather focus on how to tempt the Backpacker to come, whereby, or after their parents will come. Then one falls in love with a country and invest.
If you would like some help with that guidebook writing, I'm in.
A guide from Morocco into West Africa is a good idea. I was doing a little map gazing last night and I think that I would like to help you out.
I like projects anyway. This would be a big one.
Lets do it.
Cancion del Vagabundo Website
Song of the Open Road Travelogue