Raymond Lee had been travelling the world by bicycle for 2 years when the coronavirus erupted and he out of the blue discovered himself stranded within the poor West African state of Guinea.
After biking by means of Europe after which throughout the Sahara, the 33-year-old South Korean was in Guinea, heading south, when the federal government shut the borders in a bid to curb the unfold of the virus.
“When I was in Guinea this thing became really serious,” stated Lee, a former flight attendant with a simple smile and a shock of lengthy hair.
Now stranded, he was repeatedly turned away from accommodations within the seaside capital Conakry, in what Lee described as a prejudiced response to the pandemic.
“They didn’t let me in because I am Asian,” he stated by telephone, explaining that he was turned away from seven or eight accommodations.
“It was pretty messed up,” he added. “I personally never experienced any racism in my entire life, this is the first time”.
In spite of ample pure sources, Guinea is a poor nation the place the delicate well being system is inflicting concern within the face of the pandemic.
The nation of some 13 million individuals additionally has one of many worst outbreaks within the area, with about 1,300 confirmed circumstances and 7 fatalities.
Lee started asking round on the road for a spot to remain — solely to be swindled by a person who agreed to host him for 50 euros ($55) a month, however who vanished after receiving the cash.
With nowhere to remain and residing off financial savings, he discovered a room in an upmarket resort which he couldn’t afford for lengthy.
– Unfazed –
After a plea on Facebook, any person finally put Lee in contact with a guesthouse which agreed to take him, and the place he estimates he should keep for months.
Unfazed, Lee stated that Conakry is filled with good individuals and that far worse might have befallen him throughout his round-the-world odyssey.
“I wasn’t shocked,” Lee stated. “We expect so many unexpected things,” he added, referring to nomads comparable to himself who pedal around the globe.
His predicament is preferable to a site visitors accident or critical sickness, he stated, each of that are actual prospects when on the street.
Lee began his journey in New Zealand in March 2018 — the place he began a YouTube video diary — earlier than flying to Australia to work and lower your expenses, after which on to Europe.
“Bike travelling is the best way to travel the whole world,” he stated, explaining that he might cease at any time when and wherever he preferred.
After struggling over mountains in Italy and Spain, Lee cycled into Morocco after which into the huge desert, the place, regardless of harsh circumstances, the biking was easy.
“In the middle of the desert it was nothing but endless horizon for days, weeks, months,” he stated.
For now, Lee is whiling away his days in his Conakry guesthouse, studying and watching tv sequence.
But when the restrictions carry, he plans to proceed to Ivory Coast, and from there maybe to South Africa — a journey he stated might take longer than one yr.
“I just want to go to as many countries as I can while I feel able to do it,” Lee stated.
“I’ve been travelling for two years and I don’t think that is enough”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)