Trip Start Jan 15, 2014
Trip End Mar 15, 2014

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Where I stayed

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

We have arrived in Dakar! And will be staying a little while! Originally our flight to Banjul, Gambia left a few hours after arriving in Dakar. Just before leaving Colorado we received notice that we would be pushed back about 36 hours. I remember this happening when traveling in Nepal. The airlines would randomly cancel scheduled flights and move them to another time. Sometimes 2 hours later, sometimes 2 days later. Otherwise, the air travel went well. The South African Airways flight from DC to Dakar, had little TVs for every seat. These are free, and loaded with TV, movies, and video games in all genres. Samson was in heaven. I was wishing I didn't need the sleep so I could catch a movie myself, but we were departing DC in the early evening and arriving in Dakar in the morning local time. Sleep on the plane, or not at all! Samson was also pretty stoked on the complimentary "gifts" of eye mask, toothbrush, and socks. Sort of like getting a goody bag at a birthday party. When we deboarded the plane onto the runway I was struck by the humidity, and the smell of the sea, and yes, fish. So upon arriving we managed navigate the posse of "helpful greeters" who assisted us with changing a bit of money and getting a cab to the hotel. We had found a nice little hotel on the beach using the internet before we left so at least we had a destination. The hotel was great, with a helpful, friendly staff, hot water, and good food. We spent most of our first day on the beach and catching up on sleep. On the beach we realized we were at the most western part of the west coast of Afrika. We were wanting to go to the actual point but never got over there. The beach is very big and expansive, and filled with strapping Senegalese men either playing soccer, or working out preparing, I'm assuming, to play soccer. The kids loved the sand and essentially swam in it. We were advised not to swim in the ocean because of a strong rip current. Our second day, we were greeted at our hotel by the wonderful Mbake, a good friend of our hosts in Kafountine (our final destination). They had told him to come check on us which was very sweet, and helpful. Mbake took us into Dakar for a small tour, some more currency exchange, and other miscellaneous errands. We safely boarded our quick Brussels Airlines flight to Gambia that evening. The day culminated in a wild drive through the bush with a very competent driver. I will spare the grandparents the details, but I promise we were in good hands!
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Jeff on

So great that you your first time in Africa was spent on a beach! What a way to relax and recuperate from the travels. The drive through the bush sounds fun! I don't know why but makes me think of that hilarious Ace Ventura scene when Jim Carey he is driving a Rover through the bush like a madman singing "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"...

eden on

Mbake has some serious style. How sweet that he came to check on you.

Cheryl and Nick on

Prayers said for all of you to keep safe. Enjoy the adventure!

Juanita on

Looks pretty awesome. Keep the pictures and posts coming.

Sam Rotondi on

Sounds magical. What a great life experience shared as a family, with your work and Chris' love of fishing and the surrounding culture. Transforming time spent. Keep loving it. Dad

Maryruth on

It looks amazing!!! Keep pics and post coming , please take care. Love

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