Goodbye Freetown

Im sitting in a hotel close to the airport with Jon, Murray and Franlkin and were biding time til the flight home. Ive just had a croque monsieur (Laughing Cow with chunks of pork luncheon meat, it was actually quite nice, I must have been hungry).

Last night we said our goodbyes to Barmmy Boy, Alfred Scotland, Memunatu, the cheeky sods Ibrahim and Mohamed (who were looking for some cash), Lam and Blesss who were such good friends.

This morning Sidibay came along to say goodbye such a nice kid and hes had such an awful time. Hes a heroic figure.

Well keep in touch with Barmmy, Sidibay, Lam and Bless and well keep up contact with iEARN. And of course, well keep in touch with the excellent, earnest, caring Franklin.

Weve come away with so many intentions. I hope we can keep them all.

Im ready to go home. I want to see my wife and children. I want my bed. I want some salad that hasnt been washed in Freetown water. I want a glass of wine. I want cold nights. I want electricity and the internet.

The ten mile ride from the hotel to the ferry (Lungi airport is on a peninsula outside Freetown) takes two hours. The taxi is weighted down with luggage.

We arrive just in time as they close the ferry gates. A terrifying exit from the taxi into throngs of kids wanting to carry our bags. Again, thank God for Franklyn he yells at everyone and we hurry to the boat thre guys carrying Jon and Murrays large, hard Samsonite cases on their heads.

Its a 45 minute ride. From the ferry, with the mountains behind, Freetown looks pretty much like any port it could be Cherbourg or Santander.

On the ferry theres a suspicious surprise in store. Its the guy who our friend Chris introduced to us one night hes called Joseph the first one who wanted to telll us about his diamond mine

so maybe the adventure isnt quite over. Ive said all along that the time when were most likely to be robbed in this corrupt and desperate country (peopled by a mixture of warm-hearted, lovely funny people and out-and-out pirates), is the only time when we can be truly separated from our luggage after checking-in the airport.

Lets see what happens.