The ‘beach’

A lie in, the first of the trip, set the foundations for the rest of the day. We got coffee and pastries for breakfast and having exhausted Bissau of entertainment value we caught a minibus then a taxi to a town called Qinhamel, about 35km outside the city.

The town was little more than a tarred road running through a collection of buildings, on the lefthand side there was a dirt track running slightly downhill towards the river. It was here that we hoped to find a beach recommended by our hostel owner and the guidebook. The track down was very odd and out of place, this dirt track was lined all the way to the river by large trees, clearly planted in days gone by when the Portuguese still ran the country, we couldn’t work out why they had been planted as they didn’t go to any large house but petered out.


The beach was also unrecognisable as one to any European. There was no sand or pebbles just mud or rocks covered in broken glass, we opted for the later as we had our rugs still from the ore train as well as towels to pad it out. The water was far too low to swim in because it was low tide and even by the to!e we left it wouldn’t have reached your waist. The third un-beach like thing was there was absolutely nobody else there although we had been told it was very popular with locals, it might have been down to it being a Thursday but it did mean we could sunbathe topless without getting stared at constantly for being so white. We enjoyed a couple of hours trying to get at least some proof that we had been away for two weeks in Africa.

Locals crosing the river

Back at the hostel we had a stressful time trying to book a flight home from Casablanca and get a part refund for our flight from Sierra Leone, after many hours wasted on the very slow WiFi, the help of a friend and a computer in the UK and a phone call more expensive than my normal monthly contract we had flights to get us home for Christmas.

Just as we were going out for dinner another backpacker turned up, a Ukrainian caller Orest, who joined us for shawarma and a couple of beers before we had to go pack then head to the airport to fly at 0400 the next day to Morocco.

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