The gambia, Africas Jamaica. A nice place!

Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
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Trip End Oct 27, 2010


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Where I stayed
YMCA

Flag of Gambia  , Banjul,
Saturday, October 16, 2010

The usual long story of paperwork and arguing about bribes was frustrating enough. Feeling ill added to this nuisance. The last formality was a rather thorough search by a drugs enforcement agent. Quite odd I thought, but more unusual was the fact that he was extremely polite. I couldn't get my head round that, what a contrast to the rest of Africa i thought. This was only the beginning though, as soon as we entered the country I couldn’t help notice that the entire highway was fitted with those reflector cats-eyes in a very orderly fashion. Wow, I thought to myself!

Soon we arrived at the ferry port of Barra that would take us and our vehicles across to the other side in 45mins to get to Banjul. While waiting a young customs officer approaches the car wearing an ID badge and wants to search the car. Once again, in a very polite and professional manner. I’m pleasantly surprised by all this. We head off to Kanifing, a suburb of Banjul after some fast food there. We aim for the YMCA for some cheap accommodation. Its an old building from the 60s or 70s and it’s a slow process to organise the rooms as the manager is not in. Gambia certainly has a more exotic feel to it but also has a hotter, tropical climate. I have to sleep with the cheapo fan on and some earplugs to dampen the racket.

In the morning I meet Kemo, the manager of the place who is very friendly and polite. We share breakfast together and I help him sort out his satellite TV problem. It turns out that he is doing this job voluntarily as he is just finishing Hotel school.

Its off to Serekunda, on the outskirts to meet up with some old friends. First off we visit Kololi beach and observe some really bad weather closing in. It’s a tropical storm and soon the skies open violently with lightning and heavy rain. Its back into town once its all cleared up a bit to the suburbs and the rain has left some enormous puddles and we have a cracking time driving through with our 4x4s observed by the locals. We arrive at Vaccaris house, an old friend of Jays and have some tea. It gets dark and we need to find some accommodation. It’s the famous Sekuta camping owned by a German couple. Its very well organised and clean but has many rules. Jay takes an instant dislike to this.

It is here where our journey takes a major turn. While discussing prices we have to decide what happens next. Jay wants to be back for his sons holidays and my finances aren’t great. I could wait for a week but we’ve dragged the trip along too much. It would also take much longer to complete the trip. It is thus decided to sadly end the trip very soon..
On the other hand I can make the most of Gambia with the rest of my money. We agree to explore the inside of the country as much as possible with the help of our 4x4s.
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