Bonjour, Non, Merci, Auvoir!

Trip Start Apr 27, 2010
Trip End Oct 26, 2010

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blog Entry 12 – Thursday 9th September 2010

So today was our last day in Dakar – we decided to have a fancy breakfast at La Galette on Avenue Pompidou and it just made me think of how much I am going to miss Dakar – Pancakes, Waffles and Croissants all the time – it wouldn't be a bad life (ok one that may eventually lead to obesity and heart problems but you would like to think you’d be happy!). I had to quickly meet David (Martin’s translator contact) and Marie Andree who is Martin’s protégée and it was nice meeting with them again and making sure that we all keep in contact! Before we headed back to the Gare Routière for the return journey – I made sure I had 1 lasting memory of my trip to Dakar – I bought a pair of shoes (oh how those shoes are the centre of tales to come) but they were pretty and on sale and my Senegalese high heels. Ok So I may not be your stereotypical traveller but I think I do it pretty well! Again our journey back was a bit of a nightmare because people were trying to rip us off at garage until a very nice Gambian man helped us out and made sure we would get back for no extra charge. Our net obstacle was waiting in the car for around an hour to wait for remaining passengers and it was getting to that point in the day when the heat was becoming unbearable and I was getting agitated because I wanted to just get back – I suppose it’s like that for most return journeys – once you start you just want to keep going until you are home! The journey itself was ok – ok a bit boring and tedious but at least we were not squeezed in at the back of the vehicle and there was more ventilation!! However as time pushed on it became a rush and a worry whether we would make it back to the border on time and catch the right ferry – The ferry from Banjul to Barra is quite consistent and on time (mostly) however, the day before Koriteh we didn’t know whether it would be packed or there would be a limited service so we wanted to make good time just in case – of course in typical fashion our car broke down and we were stuck in awful traffic in the Rufisque area but we did get to the border and we thought we had made it – However.... going through Senegalese customs was fine but as we hit the Gambian customs they decided to break fast and make us wait – Now I understand that it was still Ramadan and it is important to break your fast however – we were the only people waiting and we only needed a simple stamp and it was more of a case of customs being awkward than genuinely breaking fast – and to make matters worse he was a bloody arsenal fan – oh come on really?!?! Still doesn’t put them in good light!! Once we got over the tedious task of gaining a simple stamp we then needed to head to the ferry for 8pm (it was already 7:45) and it was the biggest rush to the port!! We thought we had missed it because there was no ferry and few people waiting... We thought we were doomed and were stuck in Barra (something you do not want to happen)... However we were assured that there hadn’t been a ferry for a couple of hours and one had just left Banjul – we were in luck!! The ferry journey was boring and tedious as usual and our source of entertainment was the truck load of cows we had the pleasure of joining – in many cases – you will do anything to keep yourself 1) awake and 2) entertained when you have had a crazy day!!

I must say I had a fab trip to Dakar and would do it all over again! However we were both happy and relieved when we were back in Banjul – we felt home and knew that people would try and rip us off but had no hope in the world and knew that people would be more polite and courteous in comparison to many of the Senegalese – What can I say it must be the British charm we left behind!
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Liesl on

I must explore more French countries in Africa ... I was impressed with the food in Togo and Benin - particulalry Togo at the dingiest hostel ever - but oh man! The atmosphere and the food and the live music was the best!!!!

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