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On a street corner of the marketplace there is a decent watering hole where a sandwich can also be purchased. I had a beer and some food prior to going out into the countryside in search of Lobi Villages. There were a couple of 4x4 vehicles and bunch of scooters parked outside, and a bicycle with guinea fowl tied to the handlbars. Inside Gaoua's upper-class local folks talked on cells phones and drank Flag beers. Next door was an internet cafe of sorts with a radio station upstairs. I talked for a moment with the radio station owner about Gaoua. I found a young man playing a old arcade video game in the back of the bar. Anyway, I can't recall the food for being either good or bad, and certainly not exotic, but adequate enough to provide calories, and with it a decent beer buzz is possible.
Written Jul 18, 2007
There are scooter sales in Gaoua, and scooters can be rented. There's a gas station where everyone lines up. Prepare to get the gas just after getting the scooter. The roads all around, even within most of Gaoua are complete unpaved, but the sandy trails are easy to drive over. You can share a scooter with the guide if you like (but see my warning/dangers tip).
Written Jul 22, 2007
Finding a good guide isn't easy. Some are bossy, others relaxed; some explain little, others too much, and still others are socially smooth and others inept. Unfortunately, we found an inept Lobi guide in Gaoua. He was charming at first, speaking a little of French and English, showing how clever he was. But, we had just arrived in town and I told him that I would find my guide in town. The next morning, he walked with us to town, begging us to hire him. I was reluctant to do so, given his youth. I wasn't sure that he knew what to do, and besides, we had not yet surveyed the system. At the time of my visit, none of the guidebooks said much about Gaoua at all. After the market, we hired him to take a scooter ride into the countryside, but soon I found that he was drinking from a little bottle and driving recklessly with my wife on the back of his scooter. Later, he made jokes in the villages, making the villagers angry at him. He made our visits to the villages more difficult than if we had been alone, so we paid him what was agreed and bade goodbye. But, that wasn't enough, that night he came with some friends, insisting to the hotel keeper that we owed him more money. At first, we stood our ground and refused to even talk to the young man. Because he hung around so long though, we considered his demands--an additional $8-, a huge sum for him but a small sum for us to get rid of him. Don't hire the guy in these photos! Later, when I described our experience to our guide in Bobo Dioulasso, he immediately named him and labeled the fellow as troublesome.
Written Jul 22, 2007