sabato 21 gennaio 2012

Travelling into the Gambia

WE spent one extra day in Dakar in order to rest a little after our continuous rush among Dakar, Kaolak and Touba, then on thuersday morning we left early in the morning toward kaolak. It was not so easy to find the station of the departures to kaolak because the Bus service to casamance and Gambia was temporarely suspended due to some independentist assaults, however finally we got on the "Sept Place" wichi is a very old station wagon that has been modified in order to let 7 passengers travel unconfortably. Before leaving the driver did his prayers and despite the awful road until Fatick, despite the goats, the cows, despite some crazy overtakes toward crazy motodriver, Inshallah we arrived shattered in Kaolak where we decided to stop one day by Ale family in order to restore and to catch the fisrt boat to Banjul. We spent in a lazy way the hot afternoon in Kaolak trying to have a bath in the Kundham branch of sea but the sea level was too low, such a pity because last time although the water is really really salthy, I enjoyed its freezing waters. In the night all the pubs and discos would have been desert thus we prefered to go to bed early.
The crossing of the Senegal-Gambia borderr was fine but as usual we have been assaulted by moneychangers, 3 strong women who sent Ale in a total confusion making us a horrible exchange rate, however no problem. The boat was old, rusty and filthy but anyway filled with any kind of people, truck and animals. The heat was really strong and there was very little shelthering option however I took some nice photos (a gambian policeman asked me who had I been given the authority to take them...anyway as soon as I excused me he disappeared, probably he just needed to affirm his power)and to chat with a fine tall gambian girl who was just coming to visit her siuster in Serakounda. Finally we got in Bakau where we have been hosted by Ales friend Lamin, an artist, or better a genious of traditional music instruments carving. He continued the tradition started from his father and I am always ecstasieted by his ability to build Djembe, Lakora and Xilhophones. His house is a small, simple, clean and friendly apartment connected with his relatives small apartments so that every time in its courtyard there is a noisy and happy sound of women doing their houseduties and kids playing and shoutings. The toilets are openair so that while showering by a bucket I can enjoy the marvellous sightsee of the stars or of the blue sky.

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