The Northern Route...

Trip Start Jan 30, 2008
1
14
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Trip End Jun 23, 2008


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Flag of Gambia  ,
Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We headed off... all of the planning and the packing(okay, only 30minutes in the morning before we left) was done and we were on the road. After the 5th person insisted that we take the north route and people telling horror stories about the road condition in the south, we headed north from The University of Gambia(jori had to pick  up her passport) towards Banjul and river. We quicker got ourselves across the river with 200 other Gambians(just a tab over capacity). Piles of people, cars, merchants, bags scattered across the boat as we crossed the short channel to the northern city of Barra. The sun was just getting strong and we examined some fellow tourists get rushed by all the merchant boys(jori's woloof does a fine job at sending the boys away). The ferry gave a great view of capital and the Atlantic. As we literally pushed and pulled our way off the boat, we made our way towards the bush taxi garage. We headed through a market and into a huge open space with about 300 vans(small buses, holds about 20 or so people crammed together, dont think about a comfortable new van, these are pieced together and are extremely uncomfortable), each bus/van has a side hand man who literally sells/tells/collects/loads the van... so about 300 of them rushed everyone coming off the boat and we were grabbed by one of the men. He throws us into the front seats of these vans, and our bag(we used my backpack and packed all our clothes in it) on the roof. We slowly got out of the town and started headed east, the road was great, things were so smooth. We were heading right to Georgetown (a small island in the Gambian river), with a switch of a bush taxi(when the number of people gets low inside, the drivers will sell us to another taxi, and then turn around) in Wassu. We got to the northern bank of the Gambian river and across to Georgetown around 5pm. A nice guy pointed us towards our resort hidden away on the bank of this island. We get to this placed called Baobolong Camp, really relaxed place with a handful of bungalows with simple but nice rooms. We got some sleep, a shower and a wonderfully cooked dinner. We sit around for the rest of the night drinking beer, attaya(gunpowder green tea with a ton of sugar, a local favorite), playing crazy eights(a Gambian favorite), telling stories and relaxing with some other guests and locals. It was so relaxing and honestly the best way to start our week long adventure.
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