Sierra Leone: People-to-People
Bicycle Africa / Ibike Tours

  Dispatch 11 - Kent  

Bo-Waterloo (by transport, 200km, 120 miles) –KENT (30km, 18 miles)

Points of interest: Bumbuna Hydroelectricity for the country Mile 91

Cycling conditions: paved, rolling


Sierra Leone, Russel Church There was a noticeable change in town names as we approached the Freetown peninsula, instead of words which alternated consonants and vowels, the names started to have a lot more consonants and sound a lot more Anglo-Saxon; Waterloo, Stones Town, Middle Town, Kerry Town, Cole Town, Russell.  And the architecture had a stronger old English character to it.

Sierra Leone, Tumbu town Besides the names and church architecture the towns were pretty contemporary Africa -- cement block buildings with corrugated metal roofs.  Tombo town (left), on the south coast of the Freetown Peninsula, is typical.

A good photographer could put together an interesting and somewhat entertaining book on everything that gets carried on heads, shoulders and backs in Africa.  The operative word here isSierra Leone, Kissi Town, man carrying out board motor "everything."  It seems that someplace at sometime everything has been moved by foot -- usually the photo is missed.  An incredible amount of effort and energy goes into moving things and getting work done on this continent.  In Kissi Town we were in the right place to see a man in carrying a large out-board motor on his shoulder and get a snap of it (right), so that it can be written about. The motor was almost as big as the man and might have weighed more.

Sierra Leone, Freetown Peninsula, Picket Hill Sierra Leone, Kent Jct.As close as it is to Freetown (50 km, 30 miles) the west side of the southern end of the Freetown Peninsula is sparsely populated.  A lot of the Peninsula Mountains, themselves (left) are forest reserve and serve as the watershed for Freetown and its ever expanding suburbs -- mostly along the east side of the peninsula.

Sierra Leone, Bure Town, rice farm and island Sierra Leone, Bure Town, rice farm and island Even agriculture was fairly sporadic. This rice farm is south of Bure Beach, near the southern tip of the Peninsula.  The island is unnamed on my maps.  Simple accommodations are available Bure Beach.

Sierra Leone, Kent At the very southern tip of the peninsula is the one-street town of Kent.  Its history goes back to the time of the slave trade.  The guys in town who wait for the tourist to come will point outSierra Leone, Kent, St Edwards Church the King's Well, which dates back to this period, the basements that the slave were kept in until the boats arrived to take them through the middle passage, and St Edwards Church that the slavers attended for worship, evidently with no sense of hypocrisy. 

Sierra Leone, Kent, Sengbeh Pieh Guest HouseOne of the few nods to history that we encountered in Sierra Leone is the Sengbeh Pieh Guest House, in Kent.  The guest house has simple round one-rooms bungalows in a garden setting in the middle of town.

Sengbeh Pieh was the leader of the June 30, 1839, Amistad revolt, which commandeered their slave ship and intended to sail back to Sierra Leone.  Instead the navigator steered the boat to the United States.  The Africans were then arrested and charged with mutiny and murder.  The defendants got favorable rulings in the Federal District and Circuit Courts.  The case then went on appeal to the Supreme Court. In March 1840, the Supreme Court ruled that the Africans mutinied to regain their freedom after being kidnapped and sold illegally. The court ordered the Africans freed and returned to Africa.  Sengbeh Pieh and others of the captives who wished to returned to Sierra Leone in 1842.

Sierra Leone, Kent Beach Sierra Leone, Kent Beach

At Kent beach there is a place to relax and order a meal.  We did both (below).  At least mid-week in the middle of November the beach was not crowded, in fact there was not a soul on it.  Lunch was a deliciously prepared fish and sweet potato chips.

Sierra Leone, Kent Beach




 Next dispatch.



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