looks like i'm also the first person to write from Cotonou?

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May 22nd 2006
Published: May 22nd 2006
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i wanted the title of this entry to be "poop-free beach" but i was too excited to boast my "first"
so me and yuss crossed another border in a non-airconditioned bus with the sea twinkling in and out of view just to our right (had to think about that direction just now)
the voyage was about three hours not counting the beauracracy at the border. and so now we are in cotonou which seems like the capital but is not; porto novo is.
our hotel is handily ringed with internet cafés, so even if our side of the street and the café we initially wanted to patronize is without power, just across the street isn't. . .
a quick note on this cyber:
fanciest i've ever been in. all the computers that line the walls are their own little stalls with curtains for privacy and smoky glass walls, oooh.

so we had our first real beach day, or afternoon. after i got over my initial fear of motos in Lomé(gotta utilise the accents on this keyboard if i have them, right?) car taxis are ridiculously expensiive due to the shocking number of moto taxis which only charge 100 francs (remembering that 500 francs is a dollar) so we found two motomen that promised to go slow and took us to the eldorado beach club where we payed 500 each to use their little surprisingly clean and protected by a jetty beach.
nothing spectacular happened actually, it was just what we needed. we were big dorks; we made sand houses, did cartwheels, sand jogged, got hit by the occaisional big wave. local guys threw fishing nets, we found a prickly pear cactus and a jelly fish washed on shore, not together.
and so now we're back and being technological. we'll stay tonight and catch the . . . . . TRAIN! to parakou which is halfway on our journey to niamey about. yussef's first train ride, weee! poor niger got shafted out of a train.

other notables of the day;

i saw my first subaru
and street cleaner
in africa today

even though the streets are so crowded, everyone has a place, much like a puzzle, and it works. . .i don't know how to say that without sounding cheesy for some reason. . .

s'all for now


29th May 2006

Did you enjoy the train to Parakou?
Hi there, You don't know me, but my family and I live in Cotonou and read with interest your blog. We were at Eldorado Plage on 22nd May (family with 3 kids). Were there 3 of you? If so, we were there at the same time! The train to Parakou is a bit rough, eh? There used to be first class carriages, but I think that has stopped now, so you were probably surrounded by sacks of rice and goats and stuff. Finally, a good compromise between dangerous zemidjans and expensive taxis is the 3 wheeler motorized rickshaws, which mostly run the other side of the lagoon in Cotonou. They can seat 3 people and cost around 2000cfa for an hour, which isn't bad (and is great fun too!) Here's a number for a driver: 97161686. If he can't come, he usually sends someone else. Bye for now, Enjoy Benin!

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