Saturday, March 2, 2013

Furtermark Beach

Sand, trees, rock & sky at Furtermark Beach, Grand Bassa County, Liberia


If you make it to Buchanan while in Liberia you should checkout Furtermark Beach.  I think this used to be an old LAMCO beach as I believe there was someone with the last name of Furtermark that worked at LAMCO at one point.  I assume it is named after him for some reason.  LAMCO (the Liberian-American-Swedish Minerals Company) has a fascinating history in and of itself and I have fond memories of visiting the old compound near Buchanan and the one up in Yekepa when I was younger.  I'll have to see if I have some old pics of those places somewhere and do a post about all that, but for now I'd just like to share some images of one of the many beautiful beaches that are in Liberia:  Furtermark Beach.



To get there I would "charter" a taxi in Buchanan and ask them to take you to Furtermark.  (To charter a taxi means that you'll pay more but you'll have it for the whole day (or half day) and you won't have to find a taxi for the return trip)  You'll go through the gates of the Arcelor Mittal property to get there.  (Areclor Mittal bought up the old LAMCO properties in Liberia).  The guards will ask why you're entering but an answer of "Furtermark Beach" was sufficient to let us through.


Coconuts covered the ground below the coconuts trees all along the beach
The restaurant/bar on the beach site is frequented by dock workers after working hours and things can get rowdy there in the evening from what I hear, but it was practically desolate when we went to visit in the late morning.  Like many beaches in Liberia you also need to be careful of the strong rip tides, walking alone in desolate areas & standing out on the rocks that jut out into the waves (we almost lost a couple of people who went out to get a closer look at the crashing waves!).  


Walking the beach heading back to the Palavar Huts at Furtermark Beach proper

As far as I can climb a coconut tree!
I have yet to get the courage to go surfing (or sliding as they call it in Liberia) and am not really able to read waves at this or any beach for surfing purposes.  However I will say that they seem a little rough and choppy to me and you actually get waves going back out towards the sea in a few places.  The waves I saw at several Robertsport beaches (which surfers say are great) seemed much more uniform and lasted much longer.  I got in the water at Furtermark Beach for a bit and the rip current was too strong for an enjoyable swim but was fine for just playing in the surf.  This beach is perfect for walking, photography, sand sports, sitting, eating and plain old relaxing Liberian-style.


Some seeds found on the beach






3 comments:

  1. Hi Heath, I used to swim at this beach when I was a kid in the seventies (my Dad worked for Lamco), I remember the huge waves and strong rip. So many memories from your blog. Would love to return for a holiday one day, do you think it's dangerous for a person travelling alone? Thanks mate. Regards, garymchugh@hotmail.com

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  2. Hi Gary! Thanks for the comments. I've always traveled there with at least one other person, but I've seen people traveling there alone. Also, there were already people in country to stay with which helps a lot IMO. Not a lot of hotel options in Buchanan now and LAMCO is set up totally different. I got to go onto one of the loops which are still being lived in, but I heard the country club and grocery store are dilapidated. Didn't make it over there to see for sure though. Used to love going to Silver Beach as well. Great memories!

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  3. Thanks Heath. Maybe one day I'll make it back and go to my old house in Loop 4 if it's still there :) Regards, Gary.

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