From 22/08/02 to 31/08/02

By Vincent (14RC007) and Eulalia

(Travel map at bottom of this page)

Thursday 22 august: Departure from Paris at 16H30 to Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina-Faso. After 5H30 of flight, we arrive at the "International" airport, situated in central city !! After hours for getting stamps on passport, we can take our luggages and go to the Hotel Silmandé, the biggest hotel of the city. At the hotel reception, I ask a room at the upper floor (8th). The receptionist is little surprised by my request but give me a room at upper floor, directed to west. The main problem is that windows don't open and I don't have a good take-off to Europe. I set-up quickly the station, place the antenna inside the room and start to listening … not good, I receive Europe very low, better 34div and south Spain. I found 106RC010 on qso and ask him to help me by calling on 555. After some test with him, I can log 17 stations this evening.

Friday 23 august: I get-up at 7H00 local time (UTC time) and start to calling. After some spot on cluster, it's working better and I can log some stations. With Eulalia, my Spanish girlfriend, we plan to visit the city before our departure to south tomorrow. The first contact with local population was a disaster … hundreds of peoples want to sell us things, and we can't walk in the street without disturb. After one hour, we decide to take a taxi to come back to the hotel … Error !! the taxi car (if I can write it's a car !!) is really incredible, without doors windows etc ... After this first try, we decide to stay at the hotel and wait our guide for tomorrow. I can do radio and log 72 stations.

Saturday 24 august: Departure at 9H00am for 560km of dirty road to Gaoua, a city in south of country. At 9H03, car crash with a Peugeot 504 "piloted" by a guy who look at the opposite of the road (strange driving !!). Our car don't have any damage, but we must wait police (2 hours) who take many time to decide who is the responsible !! By chance, we have the accident beside a cyber-café, and we can spend time to surf Internet with PC486 and 28.8kbps modem … We arrive at Gaoua late in the evening, with tropical rain, and I don't have time to setup the station this evening.

Sunday 25 august: We start this day by visiting the Gaoua city with the local market. The road are very bad, and the maximum speed is around 25kmh. We spend all day to visit surrounding villages. We can't imagine the smile of theses peoples when we give us a present (pens, water bottles …) they don't have electricity and seem to live 200 years before. It's one of our best time during this trip. We come back to the hotel at 16H00 and after some negotiations with the owner, I can install the mobile antenna outside the room. The take off isn't so bad, and I start a big pile-up, with big surprise of my girlfriend, who never think so much crazy people can call me !! After a quick break for dinner, I continue until midnight and log 228 stations in this day.

Monday 26 august: Departure to Banfora, a city 200km west. The road is really bad, and we break the "echapment"… we finish the journey with big noise in the car !! At Banfora hotel, my first action was to check a free place for antennas. After putting my mobile antenna (no place for dipole), I can see the take off is good for Europe but bad for South America … But no other solution here, so I take the mike and another big pile up coming until the evening. 144 stations can contact me in few hours.

Tuesday 27 august: After 2h30 of driving the 4*4 car, for 55km of dirty road, we visit mountains, falls and hippo lake. I can do radio early in morning and at the end of the day I have more than 550 contacts on my log.

Wednesday 28 august: Departure for the second biggest city of Burkina, Bobo-Dioulasso. At this time, the hotel is in the center of the city, and seems to be difficult to find good location for antenna. I ask for room at last floor (2nd) and after some explications to the Lebanese owner, I can install my dipole at 50cm of the balcony. Take off is good for Europe but very bad for others direction. European reports are really better with this antenna and I can enjoy another big pileup. We spend the day to visit tourist's attractions. Around 204 stations in log for today.

Thursday 29 august: We spend the day to visit local market and to negotiate prices for everything. Thanks to our guide who know real prices of locals gifts. I can contacts some stations by this day (around 100).

Friday 30 august: Departure for Ouagadougou, and we arrive at the same hotel as firsts days. I ask for a room at 6th floor and opening to north (to Europe). The receptionist gives me a perfect room, with good take-off to Europe and I can install again my mobile antenna inside this room. At the end of this day, around 1054 QSO are in log.

Saturday 31 august: Our last day in Burkina, and nothing special to do, except to sleep and making radio … We take time to send post cards (difficult to find nice postcards in this country) and I can log 200 more stations in my log, and finish the activation with 1241 QSO, Thanks to Eulalia who put stations in log at the end.

That it ! and in fact, it's not necessary to take tons of equipments to active an African most wanted, the propagation is already open, and Europeans stations, with better antennas take time to do the contact. Big thanks to Eulalia for patience and to help me, see you very soon from another most wanted.

MAP OF BURKINA-FASO (in blue the trip made in 4*4 car)