Natitingou Benin


Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Natitingou Benin Africa Travel Wash Cloth Replacement

203 Written October 1, 2006 Natitingou Benin
Sent on October 30, 2006 from Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
TIP: Travel Wash Rag Replacement
LOCATION: Natitingou Benin
GPS: Global Positioning Satellite Longitude - Latitude
10 Degrees 18.564 North / 001 Degrees 22.932 East
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 9
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         How I feel today...
        This weeks pictures.
      Travel Blog! A daily web diary of my travels.
~ HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
       Falling in Love With Africa
       Travel Wash Cloth Replacement



How I feel today, or a start down
the proverbial travelers path.

Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle
yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to
star does not change his mind.
- Leonardo da Vinci


- Tourist Restaurant
A restaurant that has menu in English,
has Pizza, some western food.
Then the price is double normal.
(Avoid signs that say this.)


- The strong man who throws the sleepers
and drunks out of the mission. He is
usually a mission stiff.



A lot of photos - The world unedited...

BENIN - The Country of Benin
Map of Benin

Cotonou to Porto Novo Benin
Porto Novo Benin Hotel
Benin Food
Pobe Benin
Pobe Benin Hotel
Pobe to Cove Benin
Fon Benin Culture
Travel Pobe to Cove Benin
West Africa Road Benin
Cove Benin Hotel
Tattoo Benin
Cove Benin Market Marche
Dako Hotel Bohicon Benin
Bohicon Benin Train
Bohicon to Savalou Benin
Savalou Benin Public Water
Benin Drinking Water Tanks
Benin Photos
Savalou to Djougou Benin
Bassila Hotel Benin
Bassila Benin Photos
Benin Children Photos
Bush Taxi Cattle Car Africa
Djougou Benin Hotel
Djougou to Natitingou Benin
Natitingou Benin Hotel
Natitingou Benin Photos
Natitingou Benin NGO
Benin Culture
Beautiful Benin Girl
Benin Afrca Vegetable Seeds
Scarification Yon Benin
Homemade Ginger Drink
Natitingou Benin Photos
Natitingou to Boukombe Trip
Enter Boukombe Boukoumbe Benin
Chez Pascaline Boukombe Benin
Hotel Boukombe Benin
Man Culture in Benin Africa
Benin Photos
Benin Union Europeenne

Travel Washrag



Andys Travel Blog! A daily web diary of my travels.
Daily photos more or less.

JOBS with
I need help! I am deluged with data, info, typing, graphics.
Expats living on five dollars, or person in developing nations.
Work from anywhere and help travelers.


~ HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)

Hobo was here and goes there...

That is a list of jumps I have made
since the last newsletter.

Cotonou Benin to Porto Novo Benin
Porto Novo to Pobe Benin
Pobe to Cove Benin
Cove to Abomey to Bohicon
Bohicon to Dassa Zoume
to Savalou Benin
Savalou to Bassila Benin
Bassila to Djougou Benin
Djougou to Natitingou Benin
Natitingou to Boukombe Benin or
Boukoumbe then back to Natitingou Benin

I wrote this in Natitingou, Benin, staging point to
see the Somba Ethic groups or go to the park and
see the Hippos in the country of Benin.
Map of Benin

I am back in Abidjan presently, because of
slow internet I was not able to post this
letter until now. I have been to Niger, and
now will fly to Thailand, my airplane base.

Malaria has infected my body, and I have
taken the cure, I hope I am well.  I am weak
but will soon publish a wrap up letter of Africa.

Africa is big, many corners, many hideouts,
I will go recharge, and plan the next adventure
into Africa.
Andy of

My 1 in 10,000 photo of Benin Dendy Ethnic girl photo.
- I took an exceptional photo, please take a look.

Falling in Love With Africa
I am not sure what type of lover West Africa is, not sure
I trust her, however, I am falling in Love with Africa.
It is a fickle love, I change by the day and the city,
nonetheless, I am falling in love with West Africa.

Like India, I have become jaded to the people
asking for money, Cadeau, (French for Gift) or just
saying give me. Asking for something for nothing, in
West Africa, I think is culturally different than anywhere
on the planet. They appear to believe it normal and
natural to say to White People, give me, they want
anything I have. Therefore, I have accepted that it natural,
common, accepted and part of the culture and
I NEVER give them anything. I just say NO, and
do not allow them to drag me into conversations.
I say NO and continue walking.

The quicker I say no and continue to walk, the
less I have to deal with this type of person. What is
left is the good, it opens the door for the fun
people of West Africa to come out and play.

I stay away from a few groups, Elites, Christian Groups,
Islamic Groups, groups of men drinking alcohol,
groups of men playing games, and anyone with too
much of the typical I-AM-AFRICA expensive clothes
and life is perfect. There is an elitist, I am special
groups, that like to be that, special, and easy to
avoid, they also try to set themselves up as special.
Oh yes, I avoid the ONG or NGO because they also
think they are special in their Toyota Land Cruisers
SUV that cost more than a village they want to save,
they want to be special. Anyone that wants to be
special in West Africa seems to be a headache,
and I cannot be bothered as the Brits say.

If they say come here, or follow me, I go the
opposite, this is my rules or guide to West Africa

What is left….
Normal Africa which is nice people, fun, like
to play and joke, and just want to sell their
food or products.

95 percent of West Africa is just typical,
then the 5 percent are the ruling pain in the
butt groups, and the other 95 percent want
nothing to do with them.

What has started my Love affair with Africa
is learning the difference between a Motel
and Hotel / Auberge in West Africa.

A Motel is made for car, as the name says,
what is not simple is every time I see the words
Hotel or Auberge, I need to take warning…!

Hotel in West Africa probably means MOTEL
Auberge probably means MOTEL

Auberge is the French word for
Guesthouse or Hostel.

I came to Africa expecting primitive.
Thinking of my stereotype, believing a snapshot,
my eyes are closed, National Geographic told me,
save the world, Africa is starving, oh we suffer
picture of West Africa.

What I have continually discovered is one Motel
after another, full of Mercedes Benz, and the
NGO-SUV Toyota Land Cruisers, Rover, or whatever
they are parking… A Hotel outside the city,
places to park, indicates it is a motel.

The groups I am saying that I wish to avoid,
stay in the Motels.

Now, the Art of ME, enjoying Africa has started
to be painted by me, I am becoming better daily
at finding wonderful small, funky, backpacker,
cheap, strange, and right out of John Steinbecks
book called Cannery Row, I will find inside the
saints and sinners Hotel.

I have stayed too long, and enjoyed life too much
in what I was nicknaming or calling the,
- Cannery Row Hotel -
This Auberge in Natitingou Benin I learned
finally is called the,
- Auberge USA -

Embarrassing name, however the man went to
the USA, fell in love, earned enough money to
come back and build the Auberge USA in
Natitingou Benin.

Natitingou is a tourist city where people leave to
see the Somba Ethnic groups homes called Tatas,
or I think to go north and see Hippos and Elephants
in the park. Whatever, the reason, Natitingou has
about 10 Motels, Hotels, Auberges and is trying to
be the place to go in Benin for tourist. Hmm, while
in Natitingou, I have seen one, maybe three
tourist, I do wish they would wear signs on
their chest, but I am up to 11, I have seen
11 Tourist while traveling by land across four
countries. If you do not like tourist, then Africa
is perfect, although for sure, I am a tourist.

I almost just skipped the Auberge USA, I kept
thinking, this is the perfect hotel to live in, and I
was correct. I like to learn about Africa, this is
not easy from the inside of a Motel with a
swimming pool. It pains me to say, but I am
looking for the Real Africa, the normal, typical,
and not made up to sell to me Africa. I feel bad,
the phrase real Africa is silly, the rich, drive the
NGO SUV Toyota Land Cruisers are a real
and ever present part of Africa, anything you
see in a country is real. I however know, the
phrase Real Africa explains.

I wanted to find out where the women came
from that would enter the city with large pots,
packages, anything on their heads. They came
one, two, groups, but where do they come from?

There is a nice, western style Super Marche or
Super Market in Natitingou Benin, then directly
behind it is a huge normal peoples place to
shop, also called the Marche. This Marche has
too many to count people on Market days,
I think, but not sure, I know Thursday and maybe
Sunday the place explodes with people, then
on a normal day, just the locals that live in
Natitingou. The big Marche days are when all
the small village travel to Natitingou to also
join in the market.

There is a groups of women, three to more,
however they are walking somewhere in Africa.
They have anything and everything on the top of
their head. There are walking towards me or
away from me.

I have found a path in Natitingou, between their
home and the market there is a path. I am living
on the path between the market and these
people going home at night. And when I leave
the Auberge USA to walk, I must walk through
the market, I am totally immersed inside the
normal 95 percent culture of Benin,
West Africa. Success, Yes, I avoid the rich
drunk elitist groups in the Buvette Motels.

Ok the Auberge USA is not for everyone, but I
like Cannery Row hotels and feel at home in
the blunt honestly of normal people. There
are three to four types of hotels I have
discovered in West Africa.

Tourist hotels are rare.

1. Motel, with both NGO and Rich.
- They bring girls and sleep with them.
2. Motel only with Rich.
- They bring girls and sleep with them.
3. Expat Motels
- Girls come to hotel and they sleep with them.
4. Hideaway Hotels
- They bring girls and sleep with them.

Every Hotel has Beer and Alcohol, girls never
come alone, they always come on a leash
connected to the man. If they are driving a
car, it is a Motel, if they drive a motorcycle
or walk, then probably a locals places. I have
discovered the local places do not have signs,
do not make it easy to find, but they can be found.

There are no tourist, so why do people go to a
Hotel in Africa, the big business of West Africa
is the NGO - Non Governmental Organizations
or ONG in French. They have big cars, and big
anything and lots of money and drive around.
I think working for a PROJECT is the choice
jobs in West Africa. The drive from Motel to
Motel, they only stay in Motels. I see very few
tourist, therefore the reason the locals drive
to a Motel is to drink and sleep with the girls.
Pay a lot, entertain, show here off, and get
a room. Motels are like compounds, you
cannot always know what happens inside,
unless you want to pay the tariff to enter.
This is the way to separate.

I need a hotel folks, I have no choice. I must live
somewhere, I must sleep somewhere. I do not
have a car, I am not NGO rich. Therefore I am
opting to see the 95 percent of normal Africa
and go for the door number 4 or the hideaway
hotels for the locals to walk to, drink, then
sleep with a girl.

Trust me, this is everywhere in the world,
and the concrete walls of Africa is great
compared to the Bamboo of Asia.

I am in wonder, Africa at street level is a joy.
I will finish this letter in the Auberge USA in
Natitingou Benin. I started this in Boukombe,
Benin the center to see the Ethnic group
called the Sombas.

I have counted six for sure different ethnic
groups walking by my Auberge USA, and I
think there is at least 10-15 ethnic groups,
there is also person in Natitingou that
emigrated from Togo, Ghana, Nigeria etc.

These people call me Yaboo or White Man,
the children have this song they sing as I past,
- Yaboo Yaboo
Bon Soir
Sa Va
Yaboo Yaboo
- Repeats -

There is always the song of the children, I am
a few steps away from hearing the children say the word,
- Yaboo -

I cannot spell the words I learn, I can only try.
I sit, I talk, we are from different worlds, but
we are the same. I am curious about them,
and they are curious about me. If I do not care,
they do not care, we can explore and learn,
surprising how much my face can talk without
words. Words sometimes just interfere with
a good friendship. People often jump to
conclusions with words, however I can feel,
and they can feel, and hard to not sense
and feel correctly.

Note: Nothing I can say, no advice I can
ever give is more important to remember,
if you feel bad or unsafe, leave, you must trust
how you feel, not what you hear in words.

It would be possible to sit in the Auberge USA,
interview many a face, and learn many names.
Eventually I could connect the photos,
the scarifications, the tattoos, the clothing,
the jewelry with the correct Ethnic group. I am
not saying tribe on purpose, this is not correct,
it confuses people. These people dress like
their mother and father taught them, they
change, and their children will dress like
they teach them. It changes, it evolves, they
adapt, they sometime modernize. Maybe
they start to dress Catholic Islamic or Rich,
however they are the sum totally of the past,
and everyone one that walked the same
path before them.

Mannerism, idiosyncrasies, language,
behavior, faces and looks weave together
to form culture, as they become different it
becomes it own ethnic group. I am happy
when I see a face I know from home, as I
have seen my friend Neals face here,
my friend Jimmies face here, then so many actors.

Wesley Snipes
That big fat women Queen something is
everywhere, maybe Oprah Winfrey she is
chubby, maybe fat, sort of standard and
par for the course in West Africa.

I went to Indiana University, I see the
basketball players walking down the road,
their arms swing, their gate, the way they move.
I see America in Africa and can see we cannot
just erase a culture, a culture is imprinted in
every face and action of a person and lives
for many generations.

I was frustrated and angry, sometimes with
myself. No country is perfect, there is always
a danger in traveling. Each continent it
dangerous, I was robbed in Europe,
I have not been robbed in Africa.

In a conversation with Peace Corps persons,
or with a few Volunteers, they will perpetuate
this mythical dangerous West Africa. Yes,
there is danger, however I was frustrated
and defensive of Benin or West Africa
yesterday in a conversation in Boukombe,
Benin, saying,
- No, Africa is easier to travel than South America. -
Not that simple, but Africa is easy.

I have to remember, I like the Bush Taxis,
the Peugeot Cattle Cars, I see the transportation
of Africa as very convenient and cheap.
I can move from city to city easy. I do not have
a schedule though and would never want a
person to travel with an itinerary, a great way
to learn to hate Africa, looking at a clock.
They do not care, and either do I, but I am not
normal, I am a traveler, to travel is not normal,
to go on vacation is normal, to wander the
planet nomadically is primitive.

I like to be primitive, to find my roots, to know
I am a human, African people are playful and
happy. They want money, I say often, I have
never heard a human talk, that did not say,
I need money. Every country on the planet
thinks they suffer.

The four countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana,
Togo, Benin and Niger that I know have
some of the best Water Systems of the
planet, the electricity is good, and the main
roads are top notch. The infrastructure is
new like America, they do not have a
thousand years of time making a mess
of a city. Yes, to leave the main roads
can be difficult, but trust me, the locals
travel from city to city with huge amount
of vegetables, or products to sell, and
they do not travel in 4-wheel drives, it
is a Peugeot Station Wagon, 4 speed
on the floor.

West Africa is red colored, the dust,
the dirty, the ground is a red clay type soil.
A great building material for homes.
However, when you have dirt home,
clay colors, the perception is,
DIRTY. The clay makes you think
the place is dirty, but it is not.

Africa people are clean, the clay is
dusty, what can you say, do you want
to cover the earth with asphalt and concrete.

I was thinking, in the Philippines the
road cans are horrible when it rains,
the Jeepneys have a winch on the
front of the 4-wheel drive vehicles.
When they get stuck, the connect
the cable to a tree, turn on the winch
and pull themselves out of the mud.

I have not seen any winches in Africa
on the front of the NGO-SUV-TOYOTA,
this area of Africa is flat. I am at about
400 meter, this place is flat, easy,
life is easy, there is water. There are
no mountains in West Africa.

The bottom line is this, there is a five
to seven country area of West Africa
that is great to wander around in, and travel.
There is a mythomania perpetuated and
sold to the world, saying, poverty this,
sad that,  terrible  roads, terrible that.
It is easy, open, and few tourist, plus
for sure the roads are great i
Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin
Burkina Faso...

I will go explore the rest soon.

I say,
- Come to West Africa -
Note, if you want to give something that
is needed, bring vegetable seeds.

Today’s tip
Travel Wash Cloth Replacement

Life is Good!
Andy of

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
      X was HERE!

Article written by Andy the
On Year 9 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.



JOBS with
I need help! I am deluged with data, info, typing, graphics.
Work from home, and help travelers.


Travel Wash Cloth Replacement

I need to keep clean, this is not easy.
I want a wash rag, a normal shower rag.
However, they just are not in backpacker hotels.

I wrote a tip explaining how to use a sponge,
and it would not mildew and stink while stored
in the backpack...

I think the Frenchies have a good system!

I found in Africa a special type of shower
or bath rag, a special way to clean your body.

Easier to explain with a photos:

This special cloth, if you can find it, does
not absorb water, it is more or less an abrasive
cloth that helps to clean extra you-do-not-need
body parts off of you, and this is good when traveling.

I can roll up my soap inside it, store in my pack,
then have no problems when I arrive at the next location.

Amazingly wonderful material, and made my day.
I am now able to get a good scrub in the shower.
I worry often of my skin, too much time, too much
neglect, and I become old, or older...

The world feels better when clean, and being
cleaner you will be happier. Helping to make a
travelers nest while on the road.

A good travel wash rag, maybe difficult to purchase.

Photos of sponge for travel wash rag:
Tip on Sponge for travel wash rag:

Life is good.
Have fun! Life is Good!

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the
On year 9 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.

-- Thank you, Lord, for thinkin
about me. I m alive and doin fine
I’m alive and doing fine.‘
Song by: Five Man Electrical Band  


JOBS with
I need help! I am deluged with data, info, typing, graphics.
Expats living on five dollars, or person in developing nations.
Work from anywhere and help travelers.


Write Andy a


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