A Vacation for the Not-so-faint-at heart.

We went on vacation.  But it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill ordinary type family vacation.  No siree.  Nothing boring and average for us!  Our final destination was Grand Popo, Benin.  The beach – ocean included.  We’ve been there before, so we knew what was ahead.  Sort of.  It’s a 2 day drive over pot-hole infested roads – dirt and otherwise.  We started out on Friday morning, March 23rd.  Day 1 would consist of a 10 hour or so drive to Parakou, Benin .

Map of Benin Español: Mapa de Benin
Here's Benin. Niger is the large country directly to the North. Parakou is about 1/3 of the way down. Final destination was the coast.

By ‘we’ I mean Neal & I and Tobi, Don, Erin, Jessica & Kerrianne.  We drove our Toyota 4Runner and Don drove his Ford Explorer.

Leaving Niger — it’s obviously very dry and dusty.

VERY Dry and Dusty.

Off-roading anyone?

Or how about off-roading while on the ‘road’?

We’re getting close to the Niger/Benin border.

And here it is!  The bridge in the distance connects the 2 countries.

That building on the right is immigration – but I need to put the camera away so I don’t get into trouble!

Crossing the bridge into Benin.

The road is still ‘interesting’ on the other side, but it’s getting greener!

Jessica and Tobi chomping on the chocolate chip cookies!

Now that’s a road!

Getting closer to our destination (for Day 1).  That’s tapioca being sold on the side of the road.

And Pineapple!

Parakou!  It’s moving day for someone here.

The green and yellow guys are motorcycle taxis.

The SIM missionary guest house!  So thankful for this and other guest houses for missionaries all over.

Lovely place after our long journey.

We found a place to eat dinner, then someone in our party (who shall remain nameless except to say that he is the biggest among us) really wanted ice cream.  After all, we are on vacation!  So the search begins.  Our diligence paid off and we scored 2 containers of very tasty vanilla ice cream.  The 2 ‘containers’ amounted to maybe 2 cups of ice cream.  So we had to get creative.  We found some pom pom – a soft drink that we always enjoy getting when we’re in Benin.  It’s sort of an apple/cream soda blend.  We made pom floats.  They were yummy and everyone got a bit of ice cream.

I think Don found some orange Fanta -he’s transferring it into a more suitable drinking receptacle.  Don and Tobi were roommates for the whole trip.

Day 2 will begin tomorrow – but since we’re only expecting about a 6 hour drive, we don’t plan to leave until 9am.  We had a nice evening talking about books, then we went and read some of them.

Let the journey continue.

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