Benin Travel Stories, Page 10

Savalou Benin Hotel

Savalou Benin Hotel
Savalou Benin West Africa
Thursday, September 21, 2006

6500 or less CFA Hotel Musso Savalou Benin.

I checked into the Musso, me leaving made the manager nervous, so the price went down. I have toilet inside the room, screens on window and a mosquito net. Normal routing of a bunch of hair girls next door doing Mesh or Braids, and motos or zims close. I am checking now, it no taxis close, I will not rent a room.

The Hotel is nice, gave me toilet paper, and a towel, go figure, I am thinking they have dip showers here as the garbage can size water container in the shower. I have enough water to heat to take a bath.

The staff as normal is watching music TV, or dazing. Nothing happening in this city, nothing happening in most, the bigger ones have more dust. This is nice place, nestled into some hills.

I will fully leave the path tomorrow, go northwest toward the Togo border, and skirt along the edge all the way north towards Djougou or Natitingou Benin. There are probably three stops along the way according my fancy and the Somba People…

I will enjoy, I believe the next two hundred miles north of here. Note, the mesh girls are sometimes exchanged or replaced by a group or girls sowing on machines. The to major women groups in a modern type city. Savalou is an easy trip or shot form Bohicon, I could have gone another two hours north with little problem. Savalou is nice, however not very out to me…


Savalou Benin Hotel


Savalou Benin

Savalou Benin
Savalou Benin West Africa
Thursday, September 21, 2006

I am lucky today, all went easy, took a taxi to the car waiting to leave for Dassa Zoume, left an hour later when one was full. We arrived at Dassa Zoume and I said,
- Savalou -
The whole car was going there and I said how much.
Dassa Zoume was 1500 CFA
Savalou was 1800 CFA

We arrive, the driver want more, I do not have change, I pay him 2000, would have paid him 1800, but did not have the correct change. Told him with my best eye contact to go do something again that is anatomically impossible. Hope a Bike Taxi to a Hotel; they took me to Hotel Musso. I discover there is Internet, I go there, and to boot there is a Motel, by the name Motel for 6500 behind the Internet. I look, thinking very far from anything, the internet sucked. CyberCafePro program rules and nothing is able to work. The man tried to connect my computer and when he decided to change the click for Home page to a different page, I knew he was clueless. I use the very bad CyberCafePro and got by on a French Keyboard. Put down the Benchmark of Savalou, saying I am in Savalou, Benin West Africa. Took a taxi, said hotel, and he took me to Musso Hotel, all Motos or Zims here go to Musso, hard to say no.


Savalou Benin


Travel North from Bohicon Benin

Travel North from Bohicon Benin
Bohicon or Abomey Benin West Africa
Thursday, September 21, 2006

I am in the land of the Dahomey people; this is the big name for the area or country in a way.

I leave from Bohicon, and Abomey, very boring places to me, however big on the guide path. I am not clear why, but the Motels are everywhere, it is a center of transportation as there is a train or Gare here for the train. I do not like train travel, hard to see the local cultures from a train. A train goes though the brush, while a bus or truck will stop in every small village. The advantage of a train sometimes is comfort, and I can read a book on a good train. I am not going to sit around waiting for trains when I can catch a truck or car at any time of the daylight hours quick and fast. Moreover, I get to see Africa; I paid a lot of money to fly here… hehehe

Ok, I will go by small truck I think, I never know, maybe a station wagon north from here to Dassa-Zoume, then to Savalou, Benin. I am not sure where I will land and do not care much, would be nice to use the internet again, the internet here in Bohicon will not let me send emails with my email client or offline writing system. The POP blocks them, so the internet is of little value for writing emails and sending. I can blog and such, FTP and such, but not send emails.

I will now never know where email is or not until I get to Niger, the north of here has bigger cities; however, I am learning daily, I do not like the cities of West Africa, the smaller the village the better. The culture of West Africa in the cities is obnoxious, like I am the moving target for their wants and desires for money. The small villages have not learned to ask or want in a greedy way for things.

Africa is wonderful, as I learn to avoid the culture-changed areas. The only guide I know is to not go to anywhere that is mentioned in the Lonely Planet, as soon as it is in the Lonely Planet, I can almost guarantee I am not going to like the places. The NGO and Volunteers, all the French or people traveling through have given too much money easily to the people. I understand why, it make them shut up, give them something and they stop a little, however they really just get worst in the long run. I think or estimate that only 1 in 50 is taking local transportation of the tourist. The others are working and have a car or land rover the vehicle of choice of the paid NGO goes first class bunch. They can easily avoid the locals, they drive into the fence area of the Motel, pay a ton of money to eat at the restaurant, easily avoid even talking with anyone.

I talked with a woman Jo Anna, a nice big women in front of the Dako Hotel, she like to practice here English. I ask very slowly and laboriously how many white people come to the Dako Hotel. She indicated with sign language, small English and French that they stopped, slept and left. A MOTEL… hehehe.

Now that I know Africa is full of Motels, I can rearrange my Hotel, Motel strategy; I will go to the Market always and avoid using the guidebook until I know the Market. I am walking; I do not have a 4-wheel drive as the other 49 white people in the country. I must live in a place that has Moto or Zims in front of it. I need transportation.

I truly believe the guidebook drops the ball when explaining hotels. The hotel needs to be explained in conjunction with transportation. People ask me from Europe how to travel in the USA, I always say, to enjoy the USA, you NEED to buy a cheap car and drive. Alternatively, you will be trapped in every city and see nothing but some New Mexican immigrant society and the armpit of the country. I am not trapped in Africa, I have transportation available to anywhere, and I am trapped though by inability to talk easily in French. I think it possible to arrange a room or hammock space, I always carry a hammock in any of these small villages. However, to say my desire, to explain to talk it difficult and they speak Fon here, not French as the first language, my French is becoming quickly better than their French.

I will go north about 50-100 miles, I cannot judge by miles, I must judge by time, or natural stops. There are natural cities along the path to travel too, I must somehow suss out the natural stop and not what is on my map. The map does not say this is the city everyone stops at for market; it may point at a center or capital of region, which does not mean the locals care. Cove was a good example. If I can say Hotel, but not get them thinking. I want the first hotel I see. If I say hotel, they will stop at the first hotel and want me to get out of the truck. We found you a hotel, be happy, now leave, we helped you. They are very on / off in in thinking, the math or what if situation is difficult, the idea of maybe is not understood. You must know what you want, they only go where they know, and they do not go where they do not know. The think in terms of what they think, they do not travel to strange place, therefore I must also not be going to a strange place, they know where they are going, and therefore I must know where I am going. I say, or tell them.
- I HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE. -
- I DO NOT KNOW THE CITY -

I am pushing, think, how could I know where the hotel is located?

Ok, time to pack and leave, time to leave the city and to the pleasant and happy channel of West Africa, the rural parts.


Travel North from Bohicon Benin


Africa Commonwealth Countries Map

Africa Commonwealth Countries Map
Bohicon Benin West Africa
Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I found a map of the commonwealth in Africa, a good indication for an English speaker where life would be easier. English is the language of travel except in Northern Africa and mostly West Africa.



Commonwealth in West Africa or Africa


Africa Commonwealth Countries Map


West Africa Motorcycle Taxis

West Africa Motorcycle Taxis
Bohicon or Abomey Benin West Africa
Wednesday, September 20, 2006

There is a maybe a 5-6 kilometer or mile distance between these two cities, yesterday I drove a round trip by Motorcycle taxi to Abomey, then did not like the place and came back to Bohicon. I was on a Moto, Zim, or whatever you call them for about one hour looking for a MOTEL as I have finally accepted. Note an Auberge is the cheaper lodging here, I should be saying an Auberge, however does not matter, the taxi drivers do not speak French well.



This is the smaller version of a motorcycle taxi, sometime more of a scooter, not a big difference if you have no bag. I do not want a powerful motorcycle and a stupid West Africa person driving. Better if the Moto is slow, and cannot pass everything like a crazy man.



This is a good Moto or Zim to get on, the rack allows a heavy backpack room to rest and not strain your back.

This one is ok for short trips, but who ever knows how far the trip is, if a person is weak, they really need the top type of motorcycle for a taxi and not this type without the rack.

This Moto is good for a backpack.
LOOK at the rack on the back, when you sit with a backpack on your back, the weight of the pack will rest on the rack.

I have two backpack, a front and a back one. I go very heavy; I have about 40 Kilos or 85 Pounds of weight. I do not walk around far, at best to get me to walk about 200 yards or meters is a push. I can take a taxi in the 80 percent of the planet I travel normally for less than 2 dollars and normal price is one dollar. Weight is not a problem.

I am in West Africa; there is this perception that two large backpacks is a problem. Vendors will haul ten times the amount of food items from market to market in car or truck. I can go between cities with zero problems. However getting to the motel is a problem. I have started saying take me to the market or I hope the car between cities ends at a market, and this is normal in the small villages.

I have been having some sore shoulders from riding on motos; it became very apparent that with a rack on the back of the moto I could solve my problem. I will not take care and choose the bigger size rack when I enter a city.


West Africa Motorcycle Taxis


Zinder Niger Force Blogger to Publish


Zinder Niger Force Blogger to Publish
 
I am in Zinder, Niger. blogger.com is not publishing, I have to send an post by email to get them to send. The normal online system will not send to my host, who knows who is blocking. The Wales Telecome. The Niger Telecome, my host, the variables are as numerous as the telephone lines on the planet.
 
This is a workaround system to get blogger.com to update.

I am posting by sending and email to blogger.com from my yahoo.com onine account.
 
Zinder Niger Force Blogger to Publish


Thanks

Andy of HoboTraveler.com
Daily Diary or Travel Journal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/blogger.html


BENCHMARK Zinder Niger West Africa

BENCHMARK Zinder Niger West Africa
Andy is in Zinder Niger
October 7, 2006

Andy of HoboTraveler.com is now in Zinder Niger, this is a holder or marker explaining my location. This will be out of order when I post the many photos and post as I catch up on my internet workers. For my loyal readers, I am in Zinder Niger as of October 7, 2006

BENCHMARK Zinder Niger West Africa


1 in Ten Thousand Photo

BEAUTY OF BENIN

I took one of my best photos ever, in Natingou, Benin, A Dandi Ethnic group girl. This photos is way down in the Queue, but since all is a mess, I about 100 to post before, thought I would give a treat.

This is a pretty girl.


Take a look.

Andy in Benin

BEAUTY IN BENIN

Thanks

Andy of HoboTraveler.com
Daily Diary or Travel Journal
http://www.hobotraveler.com/blogger.html