So, our next trip is up, finally. This time we are heading to western Africa; the itinerary is:
Gambia – Senegal – Mauritania – Senegal (all on buses) – Togo (fly) – Burkina Faso – Benin.
After one year of being only in Czech/Germany, I can´t express how much I look forward to this. Yes, I have my African friends in Czech who keep me sane by giving me a different outlook of the world and who work as a connection to other culture for me. But still. It´s time to explore, listen, learn, ask, wonder (and to get sick, frustrated and angry). Simply to EXPERIENCE and LIVE.
Maybe I am still under the influence of my final exams and the Master thesis writing, but I want to write down all the questions and expectations I have now, and then answer them during the trip. I want to see if my expectations are right or wrong, I want to see if I will get a new perspective, I want to know if my thinking will change after the trip (as it changes every single time after traveling). And I just think I might see that better if I write everything down beforehand.
Even though I always try not to have ANY expectations AT ALL, I did some research before the trip in order to be able to make the itinerary, which, unfortunately, left a few impressions in my head.
In general: I am really curious about the people.
Senegal: I am looking forward to the food. Let´s see how good it is.
Mauritania: How are the people? I heard completely opposed stories-some say they are the best people they´ve met during their travels, some say that they are the worst. I am really curious here. (Keeping in mind that how nice people are to you depends on how nice are you to them, of course). And also…is the heat gonna be really bad? Like really hot? Like really?? I mean, how does it feel when it´s 50 degrees outside and you are in the Sahara desert?!
Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and the Entente common visa: According to some travelers on Lonely planet and Trip advisor there should be a common visa to the countries of the so called “Entente” (Burkina, Benin, Togo, Niger), which gives you access to all these countries. However there is no official information about this available (does it surprise me?). So let´s cross our fingers and hope.
Togo: Rituals, voo-doo, fetish markets, are you real?
Burkina Faso: Funky names such as Ougadougou or Bobo Dioulasso leave me with the impression that the people must be also funky! But maybe it´s just a total bullshit I created in my head.
Benin: No expectations or question. Surprise me!