Punched in Senegal


We crossed the border from The Gambia to Senegal yesterday on a carved out tree, the sides of the boat barely keeping water out. Some guy paddled us across for €4, the most expensive price per distance (100m) we’ve paid so far. We then took a 4×4 Land Rover as our taxi to the nearest town, which involved a very narrow, overgrown, water ridden dirt track, so felt very relieved we hadn’t taken the motorcycle taxis also on option.

We arrived at a beachside hotel that I had reserved on booking.com, which existed but still hadn’t opened for the season. From their locked doors, we went to La Baobob instead, where a reggae night party was in full swing. We drank Guinean alcohol and Senegalese beer, and after a fight broke out between a local guy and a 200kg French man, I got caught mid-fire and punched in the face. I already had a headache before getting knocked out, and as blood ran out of my nose and joints got passed around me, I wondered how I could convince my mother that everything was still ok in West Africa.

It was ok, and still kind of is, except today we learned that we passed through a locals only border, so getting our Senegalese entry stamp was a small issue. We need it to go further into Senegal, in a series of shared taxis, and it’s always a gamble which seat you get for how hot or comfortable the ride will be. Both the Gambians and Senegalese have this weirdly strict rule that the front seat person has to wear a seat belt, but they couldn’t care less about those in the back. I’ll try or stick with the front seats, and hope my mother doesn’t read this, and I think everything will continue to be okay, but only okay by West African standards… Which is fine by me 🙂

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