Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Things that go BOOM!!
After a relaxing day in sleepy Bissau at Steves and Cassnadras it was time to go but before we said our farewells we called into see Steve at the demolition range as it was in the direction we were headed. Steve and Cassandra have been out in Guinea Biassua for about six months looking for, digging up and destroying anything from mines, mortars to massive war heads, which there seems to be an abudance in this country from the many conflicts......guess its one way to get your kicks. Steve showed us around walking the path to the range stepping over the odd mortar here and there, ones yet to be distroyed.
mortars and war heads
Placing the war head
We met the local crew they are training up to do the job for years to come and where fortunate enough to watch them prepare two demolitions, the sight actually looked like a scene from an old war movie, from the several demolitions a day. They stacked in a huge hole about a dozen mortars, a few other odds and sods followed by a huge war head about a metre long ontop, then added the explosive, which was then all covered in sand bags to direct the explosion down, this was our queue to retreat back to the road a kilometre back where it was safe, centries where sent out to stop traffic and then we waited.................KABOOOOM, bloody hell it went off! It took about 10 seconds for Amy's feet to come back to earth and a few more for her heart to continue beating! That was one and about half an hour later the second. Once the all clear was given into the demolition site Steve took us....what a mess, shreaded sand bags in tree tops and nothing left of the ordanace, mission accomplished.
I got the good job.....putting in the fuse!!!
It was late in the afternoon by time we set off again so up the road we went and ended up camping in a village where we asked the cheif if it was ok to pitch the tent, no problems he said and directed us to a patch of dirt to set things up. We had about 50 people come and errect our dome tent, all amazed as it took shape. They speak Portugesse in Guinea Bissau so that night we sat around the camp fire entertainting the 20 or so kids making noises.....best we could come up with but sure amused them.
Early morning in the village, crushing maze