Will the Travelling Never Stop?

Trip Start Mar 05, 2006
Trip End Mar 12, 2006

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Flag of Senegal  ,
Monday, March 6, 2006

It seems I am destined (for the next few years at least) to be confined to school vacations for my travels. I work in the spring and summer (as spring fails to arrive in Canada until May) and study in the fall and winter, leaving little time for round-the-world jaunts as many TravelPod folk are wont to do. And this is how I find myself headed to Africa for the tiny space of a week.

It is difficult to travel from Fredericton, New Brunswick. There is an airport, so it beats much the rest of the province, but it is exceedingly expensive and should one wish to travel to Boston, there is only one flight each day and it leaves at 6:05 am. For the sake of many readers who may not know this, New Brunswick is an hour ahead of Boston. Hence, the flight leaves at 5:05 am Boston time. It is a lovely morning flight, especially sitting on the right side of the plane, watching the sun rise over the east coast of Maine and New Hampshire. Quite beautiful. It is a 40 minute flight. Therefore, given slight delays in take-off, one might expect to land in Boston around 6. In fact, we did just that.

The key point I have not included, however, and which Delta failed to notice when planning their flight schedule is this: customs in Boston does not open until 7. An hour into my adventure and I was halted, unable to enter the country of my birth because some custom guards wanted an extra hour of shut-eye. I can hardly blame them. Suffice to say, I was the first person through Boston customs yesterday morning, and I suspect Delta will be modifying their flight schedule soon to save their pilots the embarassment of informing their passengers that they will have to remain on the plane in Boston longer than they were on the plane in the air.

But as I was saying, it is difficult to travel from Fredericton. Although I landed in Boston at 6 and had connected to New York by 9:30, my flight did not leave New York until 6 pm. You see, there is also only one flight per day directly from New York to Dakar. And in case you're curious, there is nothing pretty or beautiful about an 8:30 flight from Boston to New York.

Seven hours is not nearly as long as I would have thought, and the flight from New York to Dakar, Senegal was over before I knew it (really should have opted for sleep over watching Elizabethtown, it was a terrible movie anyway) and suddenly I was awake at six in the morning again.

Donna (my darling mother) was unfortunate enough to have her bank card eaten by the ATM at the airport and we had the wonderful opportunity of hanging around until the bank opened at 8. I got to obeserve the cleaning of DKR's floors and avoid numerous touts. Yay!

So perhaps it wasn't the best introduction to the country, and I was sleep deprived. Once we had secured money, we quickly bargained a car to take us to the remote town of N'dangane 3 hours away, and just as quickly, I fell asleep.

When I awoke, we were driving through a wasteland of baobab trees every so often passing towns of mud huts with thatched roofs. Our driver wasn't quite sure where N'dangane (pronounced Na-dang-gar) was and stopped often for directions resulting in our following another group of jeeps for a bit and visiting several small towns along the way.

We rolled into town just before noon and were still in the cab when a man came over saying "Hi, I'm Jimmy, the guide in the Lonely Planet book."

Next --> N'dangane, an introduction to Senegal
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