Monday, November 5, 2007

3 week november visit

During the Toussaint holiday, Tiphaine and I hired a taxi to go for 3 days, 200km away very close to the Gambia to visit one of the nicer nature reserves of Sine-Saloum. A delta of mangrove islands with much fish and birds (herons, egrets and pelicans), although the peak season is in Feb-July. So we went by around by pirogue a few times to see birds and a pre-historic tumulus made of shells. The campement (guest house) was basic with electricity only between 6 and 12 PM. On the way back we stopped at an animal park to see more birds (kingfishers) and some warthogs, antelopes, giraffes and rhinos up close.

Transport here is always an adventure in itself. I sometimes take the local buses when not in a hurry and off-peak. The weather is very nice, always sunny, highs in the 28-32C and lows in the 24-26C. People are definitely friendly, occasionally a bit too friendly, especially near tourist or transport spots.

A few ubiquitous items in decreasing order of interest: birds, baobabs, donkey carts in rural areas, overcrowded jalopies and broken down vehicles, half-finished constructions, touts, strewn rubbish.

Tiph’s 3rd floor flat is great, airy, light and spacious.