From Ganvie we went to Grand Popo
, a tiny little beach town. We got there at night and checked in to Awale Plage. We had called the previous day to make a reservation and we had a 15 minute conversation over whether they had fondue and the guy was like yeah yeah we have fondue every night. Not only did they not have our reservation, but they had never even heard of fondue. I don't know what the guy on the phone was talking about. Maybe he didn't understand me.
The next morning we arranged an excursion on the Mono River. Our guide, Matthius, was very very good, but he didn't speak any English, so he brought along his werid friend who was studying English at university to translate. The five of us get in this rustic canoe with a guy using a huge stick to paddle while standing up.
First stop was the mangrove swamps. There were these weird crab-looking things climbing all over the mangroves and fish traps everywhere. It was a also breeding ground for malaria-infected mosquitoes. There are supposedly crocodiles and hippos in the river but we didnt see any. Then we went to this little farm on the other side of the river where there was a voodoo palace that had been abdandoned. The priest had died and his sons had converted to Christianity, but Matthiu still explained what used to be in them. Then the farmers gave us coconuts to drink and eat the inside. Matthius paddles over to this basket filled with live, jumping fish and gambas and takes a bag of them. That was lunch. Last stop was a village where there were a LOT of voodoo shrines and a huge, old colonial mansion that looked incredibly out of place. My camera had died at this point.
While we went to check out of the hotel, Matthiu took the gambas to his bistro and cooked them for us with some rice. There were a ton of them, but they hadn't been cleaned, so they had their heads and eggs on them. Labor-intensive meal.