Into the Jungle – Sampling Madina Oula’s nightlife

I felt I needed some local currency, and Stephanie needed to exchange some project money, so we walked back in to the market.  Guinea exchange rates and note sizes are worse than in Sierra Leone, so Stephanie ended up with a couple of black bags.  I changed only 20 dollars but still managed to come out with a pile of notes.

It was late afternoon and the stallholders were starting to clear their spaces, pack  up what they could take home and leave the rest for the vultures.  We headed back to the main guesthouse and ate a pile of rice and chicken, during which Haba turned up with our passports all stamped.  After dinner the guys decided they needed a beer and someone who had been in town before took us along a road to the edge of town.  We entered a compound surrounded by a large white wall.  On one side of the car park was a chunky single storey edifice with no windows; Madina Oula’s sole nightclub.  On the other side was a more pleasing looking building with thatched roof.  This was just a bar and we piled in there.


The STEWARD office in Madina Oula

We were the only customers, a single barwoman was fiddling with items on the counter.  The bar having electricity, Guinean TV was playing from a set hanging from a wall, and a Coca Cola Fridge was humming behind the bar.  We took a couple of beers here but there was no atmosphere.  Of course we had walked in about 7.30 pm and the nightclub didn’t get started till midnight.  But the owner did come in and have a chat with us; I found out later he was quite a bigwig in the area.  We did not stay long; we had an early start tomorrow, and Matt, Kofi and I had to return to Sierra Leone, overnighting in Fintonia before heading back to Freetown the next day.

Matt, James and I sauntered back to our guesthouse.  There was little point in staying up as there was no light and we were all bushed.  I settled under my mosquito net and read for a while but I was very soon asleep.  I did wake up in the night to get rid of some of the beer, and I did awake a couple of times when people passing by my window were chatting or I heard the scuffling of rats on the roof, or bats coming in and out of their roosts under the eaves, but otherwise is was a restful night… just.

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