Friday, January 07, 2005

So What's The Problem?

To say that personal safety is not an issue is not to say that there aren't issues that will make this journey problematical. They include:

TRANSPORTATION. Morocco is supposed to have a modern road network and a heap of modern buses. After that it starts to get funky. They're just completing a road through Mauritania, so one no longer has to hire a guide and head off through the dunes, and I'll be on sort of major roads from there on. But it many places the only 'public' transport is large shared taxis, and depending on the condition of the taxis and the number of people they squoosh into them, it might get interesting.

FOOD. I'm a vegetarian, which makes road food a challenge under the best of circumstances. Needless to say, there aren't many fast food restaurants along the way.

LANGUAGE. Most of the countries I'll be in are Francophone, and although I do speak a little French, I'm by no means fluent.

HASSLES. Some of these have to do with the infrastructure problems of traveling through literally the poorest countries of the world. For instance, you might not be aware of it but ATM's now proliferate through virtually the entire planet. But not, by and large, in West Africa. Other, personal, hassles include police and border guards fishing for bribes and those rude jerks who think that the way to make money is by hassling perceived tourists. Morocco, by the way, has a long established reputation for such folk.

Finally, AGE. I'm 57 years old, and at some point I'm going to be too old for this. It's the time of life when one's body doesn't adjust so well to 21 hour bus rides and lying awake all night in a hot, mosquito ridden hotel room with a disco going on next door.

Of course, I won't know I'm too old until I directly experience it, and then there's always the chance that it's too late.

Anyhow, and speaking of which, right at the moment, two days before I'm supposed to leave I'm just recovering from a bad case of the flu that I got because my doctor convinced me to get a flu shot. I can't reschedule the flight because I got a super-cheap 'consolidator' fare. And to make matters worse, there's all sorts of business stuff I have to process this weekend.

Oh well. Assuming I can physically make it to the airport on Monday, the best worse case scenario is that I hang around a beach in Morocco for a little bit longer, and maybe knock Guinea-Bissau off the itinerary...

5 Comments:

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This is great. It's like National Geographic with a sense of humor.

 
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