Kings and voodooApril 6, 2017 in Benin ⋅ 🌬 45 °F
Into Benin...what a disappointment! After dealing with the usual border checks in triplicate, I was all excited about going to Ouidah, the home of voodoo. It turns out that it's not that amazing, once in a while someone throws a live chicken on a fire, not that I even got to see this. However I did go to the main temple which is dedicated to the python. After paying my money I get shown around a courtyard before being draped in a few pythons, and get photos taken of me looking like a weirdo. Overall it feels like I've just been to the tourist site equivalent of those crappy winter wonderland experiences that pop up every Christmas. Although after I did go to a good art museum, where I saw various head dresses people where at weddings to signify what they wish for. I was particularly struck by the one hoping to avoid a motorcycle accident.
After this excitement I then end up at a rubbish 'hotel'. After negotiating a fair price, I move all my stuff into the room and prepare for a well needed shower, only for a knock on the door to say the price is now double. Now I really don't want to move everything again, but I also don't like being screwed over. After 5 minutes of terse conversation the price is reinstated, but I'm grumpy, and this is not made better by being devoured by mosquitoes in the night. However, before I even get that far I go out to find food. As I start eating it seems like the entire atlantic ocean has been sucked up and emptied on Ouidah... the electricity goes instantly. I spend the next 2 hours waiting for this minor hurricane to end so I can go back to the hotel.
Whilst packing up to leave I discover the luggage frame is broken, yet again. 5 hours later I'm still at the local welders waiting for electricity and I'm resigned to staying another night. I get it fixed the next day, and have now reimforced the whole set up, but my frustration and disappointment follows me around southern Benin for a few days before I head to Abomey, the seat of a once powerful chiefdom. Whilst it turns out to be a little unimpressive, at least I get to stay somewhere nice and eat well for 2 nights.
To put it into context the highlight of Benin has been the hotel owner in Abomey, who would say 'cheers' whenever I sneezed.
1) Weirdo photo with sacred pythons. Not a pic for online dating!
2&3) outside the python temple
4) head dress wishing to avoid a bike accident
5) took this because it looked good at dusk
6) what the bike looked like after going down the road in the previous pic after rain. I really need a new rear tyre as I was sliding all over the placeRead more