We took a day trip to Buchanan this weekend. I've always heard stories about Buchanan and seen pictures of the beaches, but this was my first visit. We woke up around 5:45am and were expecting the rest of the crew around 6:30am--supposedly there's something magical about being up before the sun and frying bread by candlelight. (Note: I am in NO way a morning person!) After a quick breakfast, Team ORR, plus two friends and a driver loaded up two 4Runners and hit the road.
Buchanan is southeast of Monrovia, and it is the 2nd largest port in the country. To get to Buchanan, you have to drive towards the airport, and go into Firestone, and then back out of Firestone at Cotton Tree, and you stay on that road all of the way to Buchanan. We had heard different things....Buchanan was 1.5 hours away, while someone else said 45 minutes or so. We were also told that the road had been fixed. I was in the car with the Liberian driver...let's just say we hit our heads on the ceiling a few times and felt either carsick or tense often. It took us 3 hours to get to Buchanan, and then another 30 minutes to get to the farthest away, most secluded beach. We actually took a dirt road (and our own jungle road) until it ended at the mouth of the river.
IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!
We spent the afternoon hanging out on the beach (under our LoneStar umbrella), swimming in the ocean and the river mouth, playing with the village children, reading our books under the shade of palm trees, getting some hammock time...and then there were those who surfed and bodyboarded. I would absolutely love to go back...even a weekend camping trip. I think next time we might not go all of the way to the end of the road because there's a small village right there. Not only did we feel like we were invading, but our R&R was invaded by all of the children who wanted to play. Don't get me wrong, we had a great time playing with the kids, telling them stories, swimming and some even got to take a ride on a bodyboard. But a quiet beach trip is nice too! After changing a flat tire (there always has to be some problem with one vehicle), we headed back into town to get the tire repaired and grab a cold coke. We left Buchanan around 5 and got back to our house around 8. The road was so dusty (and our driver insisted on following sooo closely) that by the time we got home I told Momo that I had gone to Buchanan for the day and turned Liberian. I was covered in dust!! My hair turned into mud when I got in the shower! It was a great Saturday at the beach!
[This is what I looked like after only the dusty road from the beach back into town. Imagine what I looked like 3 hours later!]