Rough Road Ahead

There are three kinds of roads (that I have seen so far) on the city of Lomé: paved, cobblestone, and dirt.

The paved roads are reserved for the down-town business area and major connecting arteries, as far as I can tell.

A paved street in Lomé

The next level down is a cobblestone road, which isn’t the old-style brick, but is a new-style flat brick that must be cheaper to lay than paving. It is however, almost as rough as the old-timey cobblestone streets you find in the US.

Cobblestone street in Lomé

The most common street, however, is simply dirt, not gravel, but dirt. It’s a fine, brown dirt that gets packed fairly tightly. Somehow it still manages to have pot holes, however. And muddy and full of ruts after a rain.

A typical dirt road in Lomé

It seems that the nicer the street, the nicer the area. I told an American who has been working here for many years that the apartment I found was on a cobblestone street and she was impressed! That seems to confirm my suspicion, although the owner of the apartment building lives (in a very nice compound) on a dirt street, so it may more indicate how close one is to a major area.

I was thinking paved roads would always transition to cobblestone before one reaches dirt, but that only holds true in the major areas. On the way to the main church here, the main paved road turns to dirt a couple hundred feet into the side street.

A rather abrupt transition from paved to dirt

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