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They spoke less and less between them until at last they were silent altogether as is often the way with travelers approaching the end of a journey. - Cormac McCarthy

19 November 2019, N’Zianouan to Yamoussoukro, 102.9km
Holidays Hotel 15,000XOF (R375)


Knowing it was to be a long ride to the city of Yamoussoukro, we were up at 05:00 and on the road at 06:00, shortly after it was light enough for drivers to see us clearly. We were here, tired, and checking into a hotel, by 14:30. The hotel does not look great from the outside, but our room has aircon, wifi and a large comfortable bed. More importantly, it has HOT WATER. The loo lid might be lying loose on the loo and the seat may be AWOL, the shower-head attachment may be broken, the slip slops and tiles mismatched. But the bathroom is clean and it has HOT WATER. The ultimate luxury - and perhaps our fifth hot shower since leaving Namibia months ago.
I am in love with Ivory Coast’s mini-buses. They invoke childhood memories. They are rectangular, of course, with a boxy bump-out on the front for the engine. They are often painted in bright psychedelic swirls of colour. They depict well-known personalities like Michael Jackson air-brushed on their back doors. On the roof-rack, they carry bright bags and bikes and bananas. In imitation miniature, they would delight any child. They certainly delight the child in me.
Early this morning, I was overtaken on a long incline by a young man on an old sit-up-and-beg bicycle. On the back of his bike, were strapped two yellow plastic containers, the type usually filled with water. Behind him ran a healthy specimen of a dog, a young bitch clearly accustomed to accompanying him, clearly pleased with life.
We are on higher ground, and the scenery has changed with the elevation, green still, of course, but more open. The woods still echo with frog-song, ribbit ribbit ribbit. And raptors still circle us overhead, wondering perhaps if we are dangerous or edible. Or perhaps just out of curiosity, to while away a few idle minutes. For the first time in weeks, we today saw bush meat on sale on the roadside, mainly tiny gazelle.
We breakfasted on omelette and bread and milky coffee at a popular place filled with men. And lunched later at a Shell garage on a shawarma. Garage shops in Ivory Coast are particularly well-stocked, and wonderfully cool.

For today's route see below photos
For overview route, click on ROUTE tab above…


N'Zianouan to Yamoussoukro
N'Zianouan to Yamoussoukro
N'Zianouan to Yamoussoukro
N'Zianouan to Yamoussoukro
N'Zianouan to Yamoussoukro - breakfast venue
N'Zianouan to Yamoussoukro - breakfast venue
N'Zianouan to Yamoussoukro
N'Zianouan to Yamoussoukro
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