Filed Under (Beninese culture, General) by Rob on 04-08-2007

Do you know what this stands for? If not read on…

On Thursday, we made our way back from northern Togo, travelling southwards and slightly eastwards. Crossing the boarder we put our watches forward an hour again, which suddenly makes it seem very late. As usual, we stop off at the ‘Auberge de Dassa’, which does nice meals and has a telly!


We’re about to leave at around 2pm, when some colleagues from Cotonou arrive – heading south too! We say ‘hi’ then head off. A few yards out of the Auberge, the Landrover decides not to go any further, so we push it back in and send for a mechanic.

The mechanic arrives but can’t do anything. We discuss tow ropes with our colleagues (who have a Landcruiser – almost as good as a Landrover but definitely a whole lot better right now!!!) There are no ropes thick enough, and although the mechanic suggests doubling up the rope, it seems a tad dodgy. Another suggestion is a metal bar, but there isn’t one available that would anchor onto the vehicles. Mechanic blokey offers to weld one together for us; when I say we have to leave in half an hour to be back by dark, he says ‘no problem’, but I know what 30 minutes means – remembering T.I.A. and who’s to say a newly-made bar will hold?

To cut a long story short, I flag down a passing coach and Lois and the kids (and a Scottish lass travelling with us) all get on, leaving me to sort out the car. Our colleagues continue their journey and I decide to call Eddie, our favourite mechanic in Cotonou. Of course, mobile phones are still not working (see this post from 17th July) and the phone at the Auberge has no credit, so I walk over the road and find a phone box (more a tin hut with a phone in it and a lady who counts your units and takes your money) and get through. He’ll send a jeep up to pull me back tomorrow.

So that’s what happens. I stay the night at the ‘Auberge’ £11.50 for a basic room (but they agree to charge me £11.00 as they know me and I’ve had a hard day…) For dinner I enjoy my first ever ostrich steak – very tasty. You may remember that this is the place I had ‘crocodile au gingembre’ back in March, but the ostrich is much tastier – looks and feels like beef, but with a different taste.

Next morning, the jeep arrives at around 11:00am and they fix on their sound towbar:


We head off and I’m home by 5:00pm. Phew! Now all we have to do is get the car mended! But, as I said at the start – This Is Africa, and anything can happen!

1 Comment posted on "T.I.A."
Hugo van Tilborg on August 5th, 2007 at 1:04 am #

Saw your car pull in at Eddy’s on Friday! I was wondering what had happened 🙂