Saturday, I visited Fotoba Island. It is part of the Ile de Los off the coast of Guinea. The islands were part of Sierra Leone and under British control until 1904. At that time, the islands were traded with France so that France would relinquish their fishing rights in Newfoundland and Labrador. We had a great day exploring the old prison ruins. The history of the ruins is sketchy with some folks saying they were a slave prison and others saying they were a French penal colony for the worst offenders throughout west Africa. I love ruins and will adopt both stories as this is the stuff of legends. The island also has the oldest Christian church in Guinea.
As we made our way around, we were greeted by an older man from the village who became our guide. He led us around his village. We were greeted by the small children as they ran to us and threw themselves upon us in pure joy. We stopped for cokes and played with the children while one of our group had her hair plaited. I was intrigued by the villagers being hospitable and cautious at the same time.
While our friend was having her hair done, a few of us decided to make our way to the beach. I know very little French, but my brain managed to remember the phrase ou et la plage? Ha. Our guide was happy to take us. I don’t have words to describe how beautiful this island is so I will leave you with the photos. I had an amazing day I won’t soon forget.