Thursday, 31 October 2019


Benin : Snakes, Stilts, and a Shooting Star

We entered Benin on the 25th of April, spending our first night camping in the garden area of a guesthouse in Grand Popo. On the 26th, we stopped in Ouidah, where we visited the python temple and got to hold pythons and see the circular room in which they live there. Once a month, the pythons are allowed to roam the city to hunt mice and other small rodents and return to the temple on their own or be brought back by people of the city. We camped that night in a suburb of Cotonou on a beach, and went to a pizza place nearby for dinner.

We got to Cotonou in the morning of the 27th, and found a nice guesthouse to stay in, a few rooms among us all, with kitchens, fridges, beds, and wifi. We took motorbike taxis in to the markets, where we saw the voodoo section of dead animal bits. We walked the few kilometers back to the guesthouse, stopping in a store for cold drinks, where I finally found some sunblock to buy! Back at the guesthouse, Jørn and Travis returned to us from their side trip in Niger, as well as Tom V. and Jussi who had spent an extra night in Grand Popo.

The 28th was a very rainy morning as we left Cotonou and went on a boat tour of the fishing village of Ganvié, with houses and buildings on stilts in the salt lake. We continued the day driving onward towards Abomey, stopping about 50 km from there to camp at a school ground. In Abomey, on the 29th, we had a quick visit of the historic museum, and then continued driving toward the border to Nigeria. One of the times we were stopped by police, the police said “You are my friend, yes or no?”, to which Ryan replied “Are you asking for a bribe?”, and the officer enthusiastically said “Yes, yes!” That night, we bush camped in an area where there was a cool abandoned old orange truck, and I saw a shooting star.


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