. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: December 18, 1998

Friday, December 18, 1998
Outside Cotonou, Benin
Benin's FlagCotonou's Flag

Outside Cotonou, Benin:
Latitude: 6° 22' 58" North
Longitude: 2° 20' 13" East
Altitude: 185 feet
From Seattle: 8273 miles
Lodging: Camp - Camping Ma Campagne

Today's Travel:
Country: Benin
Region: Cotonou
Start: Outside Cotonou, Benin
Stop 1. Ganvié
End:Outside Cotonou, Benin
Linear:16 miles
Weather: Overcast

Available Photos:

Pirogues Boat to Ganvié, Benin

First view of Ganvié Ganvié, Benin

Fisherman Ganvié, Benin

Welcome to Ganvié (Coke sign) Ganvié, Benin

Ganvié: Stilt village Ganvié, Benin

Ganvié "street" Ganvié, Benin

Fetish Ganvié, Benin

Ganvié buildings Ganvié, Benin

Ganvié buildings Ganvié, Benin

Sailing pirogue and hazy sun Return from Ganvié, Benin

Goodbye Ganvié Return from Ganvié, Benin

Pirogue with patchwork sail Return from Ganvié, Benin

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 617
Linear Dist: 130820
Countries Visited: 44
Regions Visited: 175
More stats...
Hotels: 188
Friends / Family: 155
Camping: 67
Hostels: 145
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2138

Journal Entry:
Went back in to Cotonou to start preparing for Nigeria. Credit card advances are going to be impossible in both Nigeria and Cameroon so went to the bank. It took about an hour and cost a bit more than it should have but we did get the money - eventually.

Had a reasonably nice lunch and were planning on going to the market but it was getting late. We wanted to visit Ganvié (a stilt village - and the most popular tourist site in Benin). We wanted to get out and back before it got to dark to take pictures (about two and a half hours to dusk)so we hired a motor boat instead of taking a paddled pirogue. Ganvié was every bit as commercial as the guide book said, but still a must see, and some how wasn't as depressing as such sites often are. The huge Coke sign proclaiming "Welcome to Ganvié" was somehow appropriate and even a little amusing. There's still a huge village (city almost) - all built on stilts in a shallow lagoon. Everywhere you go there are people posing for pictures and money, but as a small group and with no other tourists around there weren't too many hassles - and the village was large enough to where there was still a whole lot of real life going on in the background.

In front of the campground there had been a particularly gruesome fatal accident but we managed to get around it without having to see the details - unfortunately the campground host and the other campers were eager to fill us in. We spent a couple hours completely cleaning out the car and hiding all the money and really valuable gear (most cameras, my H/PC, CD player, etc.) - Nigerian police are infamous for liberating things that catch their fancy. Had omelets at a small bar near the campground (the opposite direction from the accident scene) and played the obligatory card games before heading to bed early - we want to get an early start tomorrow so that we can make it all the way to Benin City - nearly half way across Nigeria.

Related Sites:
US State Department ConsularInformation Sheets: Benin
CIA World Fact Book: Benin

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