Monday, August 3, 2009
Monrovia: Looking Good
On Sunday, after a second day of skunky waves (for the second weekend in a row), we packed up early in order to get a jump on Monday's workload. On the way back, in a stubborn insistence that Sunday be restful or fun, we decided to visit the "Africa Hotel," which, according to rumor, is now a property of random property collector, Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (supreme leader of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya).
All I knew was that it sits on an unsurfable beach, overlooking a giant pool shaped like Africa. For some reason, I also thought that Mr. Qaddafi had made it fully operational. But it is as shelled out and useless as every other building over four stories tall--having once hosted a mess of gunfighters. The pool is full of wiring, scrap metal and brackish water; but it is bad ass. The hot tub sits right where Saudi would be and Madagascar, along with all other African islands, are not included.
Along this stretch of beach there are a few modest tourist establishments or day-trip beach resorts. They seem popular with the UN, well kept and expensive. The most surprising thing was the view of Monrovia from the other side of the bay.
I did not think it could look so well-apportioned and almost Brazilian. But there it is. Mamba Point--the longest break that anyone talks about in Liberia, starts peeling around the headland to the far right of the image, out into the open (filthy) bay. Starting tomorrow morning, it should be mushy and massive--it's the only spot in the country that responds best to a longboard when it's firing.