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Sierra Leone Marathon 2014

The journey up to Makeni

Mark and I took a taxi from BHC to the main transport hub for going north, the Shell garage East Freetown. Crossing from East to West was almost as long and arduous as going from Freetown to Makeni. Standstill traffic in the sweltering heat. I have had to embrace the sweat, it is totally unladylike but standards have clearly had to drop.

 

The hectic views through Freetown are a feast for the eyes, people selling things from bike tyres and sellotape to donuts and vache-qui-rit! Successfully delivered at Shell, we are herded into our transportation to Freetown. I'll give you a good price 17,000 and you get to sit in the front seat… ideal. There are already 5 people plus a baby in the back. So the one front seat was for both Mark and I, he had the joy of sitting on the handbrake while I hang out the window. I nearly flaked because the passenger door was kept together with a cleverly manoeuvred piece of wire, I kept a firm hold of the handle on the roof throughout the journey (approx 3 hours)!

 

Oh we didn't depart until there were 11 people, including baggage, in the 5 seater taxi. P.s. for those doing the marathon and have the travellers package, Transport from Freetown to Makeni will be organised and I can be (almost) certain you will get a seat each!
 
We met Lindsay and JMK from the Street Child team at Lunsar - so the last half hour of the trip in the 4x4 was lovely. Mark dropped off to get the first 100 hand crafted medals from the carpenter. I went onto the HANCi centre, where my arrival was somewhat unexpected. Mohammed, one of he boys who lives at the centre while studying economics and finance, helped me put up my mosquito net, clean up dust and cobwebs, fetch water from the well and generally settle in.
 
Met Marie, (a half Belgian Brit like me!) she talked me through how things go, what to expect and generally what I could get up to. My impression from Makeni… they are not going to know what hit them when 150+ runners turn up, the general milling around of "aportos" before and after the race!

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