Friday, December 26, 2008

Welcome to the Monkey House

There is not a lot to do in Cote d’Ivoire. Most of the country is controlled by armed militias – well controlled might be too strong of a word. But we can go to the beach, which means Grand Bassam or Assini.
It takes about 45 minutes to get to Grand Bassam. The drive itself is pretty amazing. You can see people living in shack cities by the ocean, burning piles of garbage, souvenir shacks (no real good souvenirs), palm groves, and resort/restaurants that have not recovered from the political crisis.
However, once you're in Grand Bassam proper, there are plenty of these places, and they are doing pretty well. I've been going to this one a lot with my friends Sarah and Dan. We call it the Monkey Tree place.

Because there are all these wooden monkeys hanging in the tree.
It's impossible to get a good shot of the whole tree so I concentrated on the monkeys. Anyway, the place has a restaurant, bar, rooms, pool, and access to the beach. If you are staying or eating or drinking there you can use the pool and the beach access.
Alas, I never see anything this cute or interesting for sale in the souvenier shacks on the way to Grand Bassam. I would have loved to have found something like this (but smaller) for my first Ivoirian Chrismtas tree.

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