Tuesday 26th March 2013
Bintang Bolong Lodge, The Gambia to Ziguinchor, Senegal (southern part of Senegal)
Today we left our lodge at Bintang Bolong River at 8am after having breakfast out on the jetty. This was an absolutely beautiful place, totally peaceful. Today we drove across the Gambian border back into Senegal to Ziguinchor, the largest city in Southern Senegal. Senegal totally surrounds Gambia and in the south, the people have always wanted to be a separate country, so there is quite a deal more security, soldiers etc. there. When we reached Ziguinchor, we went straight to the Guinea-Bissau consulate to get visas for that country. We are visiting there next. Our leader took all the passports in and picked them up later in the day. We then went to the hotel, in a back street and fairly basic, although we got the best room with a double bed and a bathroom. Once you are off the main road, the streets are all sand, the houses are very basic and there are numbers of pigs running everywhere. Because there had been some confusion on the phone, the hotel had cooked lunch for us, rice and fish and so we ate it and then went into the town to do shopping as our cook group was cooking tomorrow. We bought potatoes, tomatoes, spring onions, beans, carrots, tuna in cans, pasta and cheese, plus oranges, apple and papaya for fruit salad dessert. We were also looking for some batteries and found what looked like the right ones, but weren’t sure so after we went back to the hotel, we had to catch a taxi back into town to get them. We had discovered when we were back at the hotel that it was unlikely that dinner would be available at a good time so we planned to have dinner in the town. When we reached the town, we bought the batteries and then strolled around looking for some other members of our group who had stayed in town (not hard as there is only 4 streets in the town). Finally found them and had quite a nice dinner in a restaurant – we were the only customers. After dinner, we shared a taxi ride back to the hotel – cost $A1 for about 4km. When we arrived at the hotel, David found he had lost the room key – having trouble with keys this holiday – and you guessed it – they didn’t have a spare key, so we waited until a locksmith came about ¾ hour later to smash the old lock off and put a new one on (cost us 2,000cfa – about $A4). Finally into our room, we had a shower and went to bed around 11pm.