Voodoo and Snakes

Voodoo and snakes….

Today we made our way to Ouidah the voodoo capital of Benin as we crossed the bridge to the town passing the fishermen Tony stopped for a shot and I looked down to see a creepy face staring up at me from the tree in front of the house beside, that set the theme for the day a nice Christian cathedral full of colourfully clad people at mass opposite the Python temple an interesting contrast, lots of Pythons draped around the visitors necks (squealing ladies in front of us, thankfully I don’t mind snakes at all)

We saw a good exhibition about women and slavery and a “secret garden” of rather dubious statues (not so secret as its on Google maps) and a carved tree celebrating slave history apart from that much of the towns attractions were closed or under renovation, one gets the feeling that lots of attractions, hotels and restaurants closed during Covid and never returned the internet sources not updated to show that.

We ended up in a garden owned by a reggae guy so have had a few hours of nice chilled music and friendly people this evening. We think of this as a good place, but our standards are adjusted from Europe, good means there is a tap which works, we use this to bucket shower behind a screen, do our laundry, and with a bucket flush the toilet (no seat no cistern) but actually we are comfortable showered and laundry nearly dry, cooked our own camp tea once we realised the reggae guys were offering to cook rather than them having a cook

Actually a very nice interesting day, we both enjoyed and are chilled, the recalibration of what one “needs” to be comfortable and relaxed is significant when I look back.

Another good day

Stilt Village of 20k people tomorrow

Crossing the bridge to Ouidah fishermen collecting nets in the tidal fishery caught Tony’s eye
While I was waiting for Tony on the raised highway I looked down and saw this creepy face at the base of the tree, we are in voodoo country now!
All the brightly clad people were in this cathedral
While on the other side of the road was the Python temple
So we parked up beside a massive Baobab Tree to go and see some snakes
They are quite friendly, once ritual hand washing has been completed and guide stories absorbed
Sometimes they head off in an unexpected direction
A carved tree telling the story of the slave trade from here which made the local rulers quite wealthy for a time
Nelson still gets fans everywhere we go
Some odd Deamons in the not so secret garden
Scary guy
This chap seemed particularly pleased with himself
Benin flag added with the Rasta guys looking on
Standards have changed, my bucket under the tap, which is then used to have a shower, do the laundry, and flush the loo, an accessible tap with water pressure all that is needed to keep us happy as long as the music is cool

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