. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: October 5, 1998

Monday, October 5, 1998
Georgetown to Basse Santa Su, The Gambia
The Gambia's Flag

Basse Santa Su, The Gambia:
Latitude: 13° 18' 50" North
Longitude: 14° 13' 9" West
From Seattle: 6931 miles
Lodging: Hotel - The Apolo No. 2

Today's Travel:
Country: The Gambia
Regions: MacCarthy Island, Upper River Division
Route: Taxi; Ferry; Bush Taxi: MacCarthy Island - Bansang; Bansang - Basse
Path:Georgetown - Basse Santa Su, The Gambia
Linear:40 miles
Weather: Sunny (Hot!)

Available Photos:

Birds and nests by river MacCarthy Island, The Gambia

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 543
Linear Dist: 81588
Countries Visited: 37
Regions Visited: 156
More stats...
Hotels: 150
Friends / Family: 154
Camping: 42
Hostels: 141
Transit: 49
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 1974

Journal Entry:
As it was another scorching hot day I caught a taxi to the ferry (paying a reasonable 3 D instead of the 25 D demanded yesterday). Got right on a bush taxi heading for Basse Santa Su, but somehow 15 minutes later they decided they weren't going that far and dropped me off (with a refund) in Bansang. While waiting for another bush taxi going the right way I met Steve, a Peace Corps volunteer stationed in a nearby village, who was also going to Basse.

We finally got into Basse after riding in the slowest bush taxi I've ever seen (max speed must have been around 20 mph - I'm never again complaining about them driving too fast). Steve and I had lunch together at "Traditions" a small restaurant overlooking the river run by a Canadian couple. After a nice leisurely lunch I went off to find a hotel with A/C and Steve went off to take care of his business, agreeing to meet at a restaurant in a nearby village later. I found the only hotel in town with air-conditioning and got a pretty grungy room (hot too as electricity is only available in the morning and night). Spent a couple hours exploring the city (city - hah, I'm not sure this qualifies as a village - it's very small). When the electricity came back on I spent some time in the hotel room standing in front of the A/C (which was the only way you could feel any effects) reading up on Guinea and Mali.

Walked the mile or so to the next village to meet Steve. Steve showed up with the local Peace Corps volunteer, Louie, and an ex Peace Corps Nepal volunteer who was traveling through West Africa, Andrea (the first American I've met in West Africa). Had a decent diner and drank (Senegalese!?!) beer while talking about West Africa. One of the locals brought us some palm wine (always nice to be served drinks out of an old anti-freeze container). I'd been looking forward to trying the stuff (it's very common, although illegal, because it ferments in a few hours), but I was less than impressed.

At about midnight I headed back towards Basse (the others were staying in the village). The moon was full and there wasn't a cloud in the sky and as I wandered down the middle of the road looking at the dense growth on either side I couldn't stop thinking about how surreal it was. I was walking down the road in deep West Africa at midnight! Then my musing was broken as I realized a small pack of dogs was coming towards me (6 to 10 medium sized dogs) it was a bit scary, but as usual for this part of the world they shied away from me.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: The Gambia
CIA World Fact Book: The Gambia

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