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Travel Blogs from Saly
... way. After arriving, we partook in a mass with all 10,000 that lasted until the early hours, caught little sleep on the gravel floor then back to church at 6am. But what a weekend of worship and community! It felt a little like Grapevine but hotter with unearthlier hours! (on a further note, the whole thing was televised and I’ve since had every other person in Joal say that they saw me dancing on television - great!)
This weekend I write having ...
... is fluid. At the hotel, we went up to the terrace and the whole group of students eventually assembled there as we gossiped and shared stories. Overall, I am in a divided state between the moments of anger when I feel like an object or second class citizen and then the moments of intense connection. I hope to focus more on the moments of insight as I adjust to the culture shock, but it is hard with the constant traveling and meeting with leaders as I feel like I am on a roller ...
... on the window begging for money. There were more beggars in Touba probably because it's a religious city and because the Magal is coming up and charity is one of the pillars. None of these people speak French other than numbers, only Wolof. We do not give money to the children. This is not because we are callous, but because we do not want to teach them to beg. Then, they will skip school to beg and cheat their future. The manager finally returns with ...
TravelPod Member ReviewsRoyam Hotel Saly
This is a wonderful place to spend a well deserved vacation. It's a great place to rest, catch some Sun, bathe in the hot waters of the African coast of the Atlantic, enjoy the amazingly taken care gardens and also eat typical Senegalese food at the restaurant.
My review about the...:
ROOMS: Huge rooms, remembering a big senegalese cottage. We've been in one of the standard rooms and there's nothing to say about it, if you're planning to rest (the down side is that there is no TV or mini-bar). The room has AC and it doesn't makes a lot of noise (it's not silent though). The rooms have two beds together, making a queen sized bed (no problem at all for large people). The bathroom is behind the beds and the toilet in a small closed compartment. The shower is near the entrance and there's no door or curtain - so you will probably wet a little the floor, but don't worry because there's is a specific towel to getting out of the shower :)
CLEANINESS: Super clean. Everyday the cleaning staff washed the floor, the shower and bathroom (and toilet) and sprayed insecticide before closing the rooms (as precaution). Don't forget that this is West Africa and some caution is needed. Nothing to say about the cleaniness of the linen and the towels,has they were clean and smelled nice :)
STAFF: Well, they are all uber-friendly. They all speak french very well (remember the Senegal was a french colony) and there are some that try to speak other languages, like english, spanish and also portuguese. So if you have any question or if you just want to chat, they are always ready for you. But practicing your french is advised :)
EATING: If you plan on eating at the hotel, you will be very well served and you will have the chance to eat typical Senegalese food. We were with Full Pension, so we had lunch and dinner at the hotel. Nothing to say about the food except that it was excellent. We stayed there for a week and we didn't had the same meal once. At the lunch hour, there's always the "dish of the day" which is all a different kind of fish and desert. At the dinner time, you can choose one of two entrances and also one of two main dishes. For desert, always three choises :) Remember that drinks are not included in the Half-Pension or Full Pension (which is different of All Inclusive). If you plan to eat outside the hotel, be careful because in some places there are some issues of lack of hygiene (if you can, have a word with your local travel agent representative in Senegal for advise). The hotel asks everyone not to bring any food or beverages from outside the hotel, as they could no longer garantee the hygiene of the food/drinks.
LOCATION: 100 Km (more or less) south of the capital city Dakar. The trip is a little bumpy and long. If you don't get traffic leaving Dakar, you can be at Saly in about 1h30. As for our experience, we took about 3h30 to get from the Hotel to Dakar on our last day.
BEACH: One of the best places at that area. There are some sea weed but the staff is always worried in removing it from the beach and protecting the palm trees. The sea temperature was hot (around 28º Celsius) and with almost no waves. Very salty water so you can swim without problems there.
At the beach there are a lot of chairs with beach matresses that the staff gets for you. During the morning is the best time to catch some sun and some shadow. In the afternoon, the sun comes from the sea side and only near the boardwalk you will get some shadow. The sun in the lunch hour is super hot, so be careful and get in the shadow. The average temperature was around 30-33 degrees Celsius (so at noon, it could be a little higher).
POOL: Always clean, always hot (around 27º Celsius) and it goes from ankle height to around 1,50 meters depth. There are a lot of chairs and matresses available and the bar is near, so you can get (or ask) for a drink or something ot eat also. Ah, you can do the same at the beach (you just have to have the staff for the list).
OUTSIDE: If you plan to go outside the hotel, you can take the boardwalk and go to Saly center (which is about a 10 minute walk). But this small walk can be "long" as you will definetely find some locals trying to sell you things. Senegal is a VERY POOR country, so the people is therefore very poor too. All the senegalese people are very polite and very helpful. They always ask you your name, where are you from, when did you arrive and where are you staying... but they want you no harm. All they want is to sell you wood craftmanship, shell necklaces and other things. If you plan on buying something, be prepared because you will have to negotiate your price with the vendor (the reasonable price is about 1/4 of the price the vendor says first, so point a little bit less than that and start your negotiation). If you don't want to buy anything, just say no two or three times, saying thank you. They will leave you in peace and will wish you a wonderful stay at Senegal. But if you can, well help the people. The really need it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.