Dakar

Trip Start Jan 14, 2014
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3
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Trip End Mar 16, 2014


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Where I stayed
Auberge Keur Diame Dakar
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Senegal  , Dakar,
Thursday, January 16, 2014

   We landed in Dakar before dawn. This is one rough airport. The customs office was a lively mix of devices, wires, wood and metal. Senegal has begun a system of issuing biometric visas. Visas are paid for online ahead of time. The receipt must be carried to Senegal. Visitors are finger printed, and their eyes are scanned.
   Help with bags should be accepted for a small tip at the baggage claim. They will help you navigate the rest of and outside of the airport. Most of the people arriving with us did not put their bags through the screener machines. We weren't sure if we were supposed to do it until we were motioned to.
   Outside, we had to get a taxi, and some local currency. I hesitated with the first English speaker offering help. A kind Baye Fall said he was a taxi man, and led the way. We changed $100 to 45000 CFA or so and continued to our taxi without lifting a bag, a family of four and an entourage of four to five escorts.
   Our taxi's windshield was so busted up, you could hardly see out of it. Dakar is a checker board of rubble and functional construction. We were in Africa.
   The taxi took us straight to Keur Diame (http://www.keurdiame-senegal.com/), and Ibra, the concierge, welcomed us by understanding our English. They were gracious in preparing us a room just after sunrise, and letting us occupy it until well after checkout the next day at no extra charge. They even carried a huge metal baby bed up stairs for us, which, of course, we never used. We were one block from the beach with a beautiful roof terrace. Keur Diame is, however, in the process of replacing said roof little by little. I guess Dakar has recently imposed building codes. This may have something to do with all the rubble everywhere. They had meals to order and had hot water showers. We each took some melatonin and slept the whole night.
   In the morning, Mbacke came to greet us, show us around Dakar and make sure we made it to the airport on time for our flight to Banjul. We had our first traditional Senegalese meal of chicken and rice, with the common onion sauce, with eggplant, cabbage, carrot and hot pepper. It was awesome.
    I began to notice the regular addictions gripping the country, like many nations, and our Baye Fall hosts not excepted. They trade coffee and tobacco. Add to these white sugar, white flour and white rice. Cotton is also heavily consumed. The tailors here can make you anything you want. At least we haven't seen too much love for white rum and beer. I find it incredible that these are the commodities of the slave trade, and are so widely subscribed to. I wonder how long they have been used here, and their connection to Arabia and Ethiopia.
    The beach was prime, much like Venice Beach, but with fewer public works and more trash. Everyone is working out - jogging, training, playing soccer, basketball. It is a nice vibe, and very windy in the dry season. The sand is very fine. Apparently the rip tide is strong. We just got our feet wet. Khaki sand and jade green water.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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