(Guinea)- Bissau City

Guinea Bissau is the Worlds 16th least visited country with only approximately 2000 visitors a year, which I found surprising as a visa was easy to get (in Conackry) and because it is a country which offer a very different experience than its West-African neighbors. People there spoke Portuguese and had not been corrupted by tourists in the past, making them feel like a lively peoople who were very friendly and welcoming to tourists.

A local lady making 1€ Capirinhas on the street

The capital city of Bissau is small and all the city sights can be seen  in a couple of hours, so me and Suz were looking for something to be seen outside of the city.

We asked a local fisherman how much it would cost for him to take us over to Ilhau do Rei, which was just one euro each way where he would wait for us at the island. Once accross we were met with lots of children eager to show us their playground which consisted of worn down building, including a peanut oil factory that could not have been used for at least fifty years.

These guys said they were playing cards all day because it was not possible to get work in town

The whole place was like an African Tsjernobyl. Lots of buildings were abandoned and plants were growing up the walls and cows, chicken and goats were resting inside them. It was all very pleasant being shown all this by the local kids- all until they started sharpening their machetes and asking us for money. We then decided it was time to go back to the city.

Local kids playing in abandoned buildings

Guinea Bissau in general has been quite a different destination to the other West African countries. People here are super laid back and what can be said to move the most are the many cracks in roads, boats and buildings in Bissau City. But even though the country is viewed from the international world as a failed state, with almost no streetlight in the city, lack of schools, hospitals and good roads. People seemed happy enough, and were quite friendly and curious to us too. Maybe it is because there still are very few tourists who visit the place. Maybe it will all have changed by the time I go back. We will see.