[Mansa-l] Conf. Memo Part 3 Pasted

David Conrad basitigi@earthlink.net
Fri, 4 Feb 2005 16:37:05 -0500


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PART 3

MISCELLANEOUS GROUND TRAVEL INFORMATION
Departure from Kankan
If you return to Conakry with the transport provided on the 27th and=20
want to stay at the Novotel until your flight, you are guaranteed your=20=

room at the low conference rate. If you delay your return to Conakry to=20=

a later date, you might succeed in getting the low rate anyway if you=20
talk to the appropriate person. For anyone thinking about traveling=20
anywhere by taxi brousse in Guinea including the route to Bamako, see=20
the notes below.

OVERLAND TRAVEL
Kankan to Conakry:
Anyone inclined to stay up-country past the scheduled return to Conakry=20=

can find transportation back by taxi brousse or a bus that goes down=20
with the mail. Contrary to what I reported last year, there are no=20
longer any internal flights in Guinea.

Kankan to Kour=E9mal=E9 (the Guinea-Mali Border);
My report on this route is based on a trip by taxi brousse 31 December,=20=

2004.
To get the first taxi out of Kankan you have to be at the gare routier=20=

by 6 a.m. The price to Bamako is GF 45,000.
The bridge across the Niger between Jelibakoro and Niandankoro is=20
complete and functioning, as is the one just south of Siguiri across=20
the Tinkisso, so no more waiting for ferries. At this writing the new=20
paved highway is finished from Kankan to about twenty km. past=20
Niandankoro. There was another newly paved stretch on the way to the=20
border at Kour=E9mal=E9, and continuing progress on construction on the=20=

Guinea side was clearly visible. In sixth months=92 time a lot more of =
it=20
will be finished.

Guinea/Mali Border to Bamako:
Contrary to a list-serv report from Bamako in late in 2004, this is not=20=

yet paved (a novel situation where at least one element of the Guinean=20=

infrastructure has something on Mali, though only temporarily). A new=20
highway is presently under construction on the Mali side, and it looks=20=

like at least part of it will be paved by the end of June.

To sum up, there are three reasons why this trip is a lot faster than=20
it used to be (but with a wild card still in the deck).
First the good news:
1. The new bridges have eliminated waiting for two different=20
ferry-crossings.
2. Much of the Guinea side now has a new paved highway that should be=20
near completion by the end of June and there should be quite a bit done=20=

on the Mali side by then.
3. You no longer have to leave your Guinea taxi at the border and find=20=

another one on the Mali side to continue to Bamako. At the gare routier=20=

in Kankan you can get a taxi, surly driver and all, straight through to=20=

Bamako. In fact it is now possible to get one that runs straight=20
through from Conakry to Bamako.

The Wild Card:
Most of you are presumably aware of the possibilities for adventure in=20=

traveling taxi brousse. With the Guinea variety, there remains a high=20
likelihood of some kind of mechanical failure. Carry extra water and a=20=

good book to read while you sit on the side of the rode waiting for the=20=

mechanic=92s ingenuity and divine intervention to solve the problem.

Aspects of a Kankan-Bamako trip that might (or might not) have some=20
relevance or give you a sense of what is involved (skip this part if=20
you like surprises):
The odds are probably about forty-sixty against, that you will make the=20=

entire trip without some kind of time-costing event. Of the five times=20=

I=92ve done it, three were via taxi brousse, and in those cases I=92m=20
batting zero. (In fact under the old conditions it once took me more=20
than two days to make the trip, arriving in Bamako late at night on the=20=

second day, but that involved a combination of mishaps that should no=20
longer be possible). As most of you already know, one thing you can do=20=

to increase your odds is check to see if the car you=92re assigned to =
has=20
a spare tire and if it doesn=92t, be sure the other passengers know so=20=

they=92ll join in your complaining until one is found. (Unfortunately, I=20=

forgot to check this time.)
On this last trip I broke my previous record of arriving in Bamako=20
before sundown on the same day, though the earlier trip was by an=20
alternative, extremely bush route through Mandiana (the so-called=20
=93smugglers=92 route=94) that is no longer worthwhile. After arriving =
at the=20
gare routier at 6:00 a.m. my research assistant and I left Kankan just=20=

before 8:00 after an hour=92s delay while the driver mysteriously=20
disappeared with the rooftop baggage (he was off searching for gas=20
during the present shortage in Guinea), and we arrived in Bamako at=20
16:00. North of Sibi we lost an hour when a tire went flat and we had=20
no spare (A Guinea taxi from Conakry came along and loaned us one [no=20
Guinea taxi passes another in distress without stopping], but that car=20=

could have been several hours behind us instead of only one, etc.).=20
Theoretically then, if your taxi left Kankan at 7:00 when it=92s =
supposed=20
to and you have no delays, you could get to Bamako by 14:00. If your=20
driver is not from Siguiri and doesn=92t stop for a longish lunch break=20=

there as ours did, it could be even faster.

NOVOTEL IN CONAKRY (Reprinted from last year=92s report)
The normal rates for a double room at the hotel are c. 290,000 to=20
300,000 FG per night. We are getting a rate quoted in dollars, of $60=20
per night for an unshared room, which includes breakfast. In other=20
words, if you take a single by yourself, breakfast is included.
For doubles, i.e., shared rooms you will pay $30 per night plus half=20
the cost of one breakfast. This is because only one breakfast comes=20
with the room. Thus, you will each pay half price for your breakfast,=20
and your nightly rate would come to about $34.50 per night. (please=20
don't ask me to explain this further -- that's the deal).
Aside from getting such low rates in this quality of lodging, a=20
distinct advantage of dealing with a hotel at this level is that it=20
accepts credit cards: VISA, American Express, Diners Club, and=20
MasterCard.

We get the conference room(s) with no charge to the organization on the=20=

following conditions:
1. Participants staying at the hotel eat lunch there. This is a daily=20
buffet lunch at 30,000 GF (c. $10 at this writing, down from c. 12.50=20
in the last report).
This makes additional good sense in that it facilitates timely return=20
to the afternoon panel sessions.
2. We pay for morning and afternoon coffee breaks (which we have done=20
at both of the Leiden conferences and in Banjul). There are three price=20=

ranges, and I'm quoting the cheapest choice.
The matin is 7,000 FG per person and you get tea, coffee or hot=20
chocolate, 1 viennoiserie, and eau min=E9rale.
The apres midi is 7,000 FG per person and you get tea, coffee or hot=20
chocolate, petits fours (secs), and eau min=E9rale.


=0C









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<underline><fontfamily><param>Times</param>PART 3

</fontfamily></underline><fontfamily><param>Times</param>=20

MISCELLANEOUS GROUND TRAVEL INFORMATION

<underline>Departure from Kankan

</underline>If you return to Conakry with the transport provided on
the 27th and want to stay at the Novotel until your flight, you are
guaranteed your room at the low conference rate. If you delay your
return to Conakry to a later date, you might succeed in getting the
low rate anyway if you talk to the appropriate person. For anyone
thinking about traveling anywhere by <italic>taxi brousse</italic> in
Guinea including the route to Bamako, see the notes below.


OVERLAND TRAVEL

<underline>Kankan to Conakry</underline>:<bold>

</bold>Anyone inclined to stay up-country past the scheduled return to
Conakry can find transportation back by <italic>taxi brousse</italic>
or a bus that goes down with the mail. Contrary to what I reported
last year, <bold>there are no longer any internal flights in
Guinea</bold>.=20


<underline>Kankan to Kour=E9mal=E9 (the Guinea-Mali Border);</underline>

My report on this route is based on a trip by <italic>taxi
brousse</italic> 31 December, 2004.=20

To get the first taxi out of Kankan you have to be at the <italic>gare
routier</italic> by 6 a.m. The price to Bamako is GF 45,000.

The bridge across the Niger between Jelibakoro and Niandankoro is
complete and functioning, as is the one just south of Siguiri across
the Tinkisso, so no more waiting for ferries. At this writing the new
paved highway is finished from Kankan to about twenty km. past
Niandankoro. There was another newly paved stretch on the way to the
border at Kour=E9mal=E9, and continuing progress on construction on the
Guinea side was clearly visible. In sixth months=92 time a lot more of
it will be finished.=20


<underline>Guinea/Mali Border to Bamako:

</underline>Contrary to a list-serv report from Bamako in late in
2004, this is not yet paved (a novel situation where at least one
element of the Guinean infrastructure has something on Mali, though
only temporarily). A new highway is presently under construction on
the Mali side, and it looks like at least part of it will be paved by
the end of June.


To sum up, there are three reasons why this trip is a lot faster than
it used to be (but with a wild card still in the deck).

First the good news:

1. The new bridges have eliminated waiting for two different
ferry-crossings.

2. Much of the Guinea side now has a new paved highway that should be
near completion by the end of June and there should be quite a bit
done on the Mali side by then.=20

3. You no longer have to leave your Guinea taxi at the border and find
another one on the Mali side to continue to Bamako. At the
<italic>gare routier</italic> in Kankan you can get a taxi, surly
driver and all, straight through to Bamako. In fact it is now possible
to get one that runs straight through from Conakry to Bamako.


The Wild Card:=20

Most of you are presumably aware of the possibilities for adventure in
traveling <italic>taxi brousse</italic>. With the Guinea variety,
there remains a high likelihood of some kind of mechanical failure.
Carry extra water and a good book to read while you sit on the side of
the rode waiting for the mechanic=92s ingenuity and divine intervention
to solve the problem. =20


Aspects of a Kankan-Bamako trip that might (or might not) have some
relevance or give you a sense of what is involved (skip this part if
you like surprises):

The odds are probably about forty-sixty against, that you will make
the entire trip without some kind of time-costing event. Of the five
times I=92ve done it, three were via <italic>taxi brousse</italic>, and
in those cases I=92m batting zero. (In fact under the old conditions it
once took me more than two days to make the trip, arriving in Bamako
late at night on the second day, but that involved a combination of
mishaps that should no longer be possible). As most of you already
know, one thing you can do to increase your odds is check to see if
the car you=92re assigned to has a spare tire and if it doesn=92t, be =
sure
the other passengers know so they=92ll join in your complaining until
one is found. (Unfortunately, I forgot to check this time.)

On this last trip I broke my previous record of arriving in Bamako
before sundown on the same day, though the earlier trip was by an
alternative, extremely bush route through Mandiana (the so-called
=93smugglers=92 route=94) that is no longer worthwhile. After arriving =
at
the <italic>gare routier</italic> at 6:00 a.m. my research assistant
and I left Kankan just before 8:00 after an hour=92s delay while the
driver mysteriously disappeared with the rooftop baggage (he was off
searching for gas during the present shortage in Guinea), and we
arrived in Bamako at 16:00. North of Sibi we lost an hour when a tire
went flat and we had no spare (A Guinea taxi from Conakry came along
and loaned us one [no Guinea taxi passes another in distress without
stopping], but that car could have been several hours behind us
instead of only one, etc.). Theoretically then, if your taxi left
Kankan at 7:00 when it=92s supposed to and you have no delays, you could
get to Bamako by 14:00. If your driver is not from Siguiri and doesn=92t
stop for a longish lunch break there as ours did, it could be even
faster.


NOVOTEL IN CONAKRY (Reprinted from last year=92s report)

The normal rates for a double room at the hotel are c. 290,000 to
300,000 FG per night. We are getting a rate quoted in dollars, of $60
per night for an unshared room, which includes breakfast. In other
words, if you take a single by yourself, breakfast is included.

For doubles, i.e., shared rooms you will pay $30 per night plus half
the cost of one breakfast. This is because only one breakfast comes
with the room. Thus, you will each pay half price for your breakfast,
and your nightly rate would come to about $34.50 per night. (please
don't ask me to explain this further -- that's the deal).=20

Aside from getting such low rates in this quality of lodging, a
distinct advantage of dealing with a hotel at this level is that it
accepts credit cards: VISA, American Express, Diners Club, and
MasterCard.


We get the conference room(s) with no charge to the organization on
the following conditions:=20

1. Participants staying at the hotel eat lunch there. This is a daily
buffet lunch at 30,000 GF (c. $10 at this writing, down from c. 12.50
in the last report).=20

This makes additional good sense in that it facilitates timely return
to the afternoon panel sessions.

2. We pay for morning and afternoon coffee breaks (which we have done
at both of the Leiden conferences and in Banjul). There are three
price ranges, and I'm quoting the cheapest choice.

The <italic>matin</italic> is 7,000 FG per person and you get tea,
coffee or hot chocolate, 1 <italic>viennoiserie</italic>, and
<italic>eau min=E9rale</italic>.

The <italic>apres midi</italic> is 7,000 FG per person and you get
tea, coffee or hot chocolate, petits fours (<italic>secs</italic>),
and <italic>eau min=E9rale</italic>.

=20


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