Dakar - What a cultural shock!!
Anchored in a safe bay overlooked by the Presidential Palace, guarded by Senegalese Gun boat, so we felt very safe. We had access to the Pullman Hotel facilities, swimming pool, hairdressers etc. We only used the rib to go between boats as the surf going ashore was to big as we found out on our first trip in. All showered & dressed we caught the hotel Navette ( boat Taxi) ashore to hand our boat papers in, the Navette turned and went into the beach astern where the biggest wave just picked us up and overturned the boat, this big black hand grabbed me up spluttering and completely wet through. A good thing the water is so water it was refreshing and we dry within 20 mins we vowed that when we traveled in the Navette it would be in swimwear in future and pack our day clothes. After our incident the next boat stripped down to their underwear before reaching the shore, which is what most people did from then on.
Our Skippers Briefing
For the 4 days the Navette cost us 10Euros per day for as many trips as we liked. A drink of fresh orange was 3500.00 CFA’s (650 CFA to 1 euro) So very expensive.
The hotel was very colonial, but outside was completely different, our first trip outside was an experience we’d never come across before. The poverty the unmade roads, the amount of street traders, all people trying to sell you things, badgering you constantly as you try to walk down the street, people living on the street and families cooking on the broken up pavements. In the end we hired a guide for a few euros to take us around, this stopped most of the vendors trying to sell to you and we felt less intimidated. We went for a meal to a local restaurant, the food portions where huge, no wonder the people are big.
Hotel and anchorage
At Priscille 13th birthday party, later we had cake on African Sea wing and the children dived in off the trampoline on the front of the Cat.
Next day we had our normal briefing about Dakar, what to do and see and about the next trip to Saloum river. We spent the afternoon around the pool and catching up with everyone. After having little sleep over the last 4 days it was nice to rest.
Every day the children sat in the shade at the lunch area studying, it was set out like an exam room at separate desks, some were studying Latin, history, maths, they all were doing home correspondence courses which have to be submitted every month. of course I was helping with the English lessons, the only trouble is they will all be speaking English with a northern accent.
We had a ladies shopping outing we hired a guide for the morning and he took us to the Muslim market, material stalls, dress shops, sweat shops, fruit market, it was hot, sticky, dirty and so busy with so many cars piping horns, we were worn out after our trip. I successfully came back with an African dress and a shirt for David, I don’t know if we will wear either but we put the money into the economy.
David & I had a trip out to Gorey Island where all the Slaves were held and bought, again we hired a guide and he took us to the Island by boat and gave us the history of the island 60,000,000 slaves were taken over the 300 years of slavery , only 20,000,000 made it to be sold until the English outlawed slavery by an act of Parliament implemented by William Willberforce. The Island was pretty, colourful building, little fish restaurants where we had the best Gambas in Ginger, but again lots of small market stalls all trying to sell something to you, calling me “ sister come and buy from me I will give you the best discount” I felt like shouting I am not your sister!!!! As it was driving us mad. Every time you get ripped off as you have to barter hard, which we cannot do. Other people always bought cheaper than us, we always seemed to pay more. It was an experience but we were really tired when we got back to the hotel the heat and humidity really gets to you.
All pictures of Gory Isalnd
See you in Saloum River
Love to all Suzie Too out for today xxx