I cross the border. Senegalese taximen call out at me. I have 5 dalasi and no CFA Francs. There's no cash machine. An enterprising motorcycle taximan agrees to take me to Kaolack. I spend two hours on the back of his motorbike. Two cash points fail at Kaolack. The third succeeds. My driver continues to... Continue Reading →
Two weeks ago, I left the gleaming hotels of Serrekunda and the Gambia's smaller and dustier capital behind: After a 1.5 hour wait at Banjul's ferry terminal, I board the car and passenger ferry that takes me North to Barra and West-Central Senegal. The ticket costs 25 dalasi, or 38 UK pence. At Barra, I... Continue Reading →
"Man is now able to fly through the air like a bird, he is able to swim under the sea like a fish, he is able burrow beneath the ground like a mole. Now if only he could walk the earth like a man, this would be paradise." Tommy Douglas
The car winds around barely visible tracks in the dry sand. We lose sight of the final buildings prior to the lagoon, tracing out a route between palm trees, sand and sea. After some searching, we come to a fence-line and a rusty, ajar gate. My friend has already disappeared beyond it into the trees... Continue Reading →
After breakfast I prepare to leave Bakau. Mustapha, who I confuse with Khalifa, asks how I’m getting to Senegal. ‘Taxi to Banjul, Ferry to Barra, taxi to Amdallai, walk through the border post on the Gambian side and into Karang, via ‘poste de controle’ on the Senegalese side, then sept-place (shared taxi) to Mbour.’ Wow,... Continue Reading →
The car halts. I slowly twist my face towards the driver as I sit up straight.‘This is it,’ he says.’This is what?’‘Tarrafal’‘Where?’‘Come’He beckons me towards the cliff edge. I follow, cautiously.‘Come ... come ...’I follow. Much more cautiously. Beyond the gravel, rock, and dust - all far too dry to give my shoes any purchase... Continue Reading →
A madman stumbles around the white line of the barren road. His brain had dried up. His cup of alcohol is empty. Nothing happens fast. Space so vast the car though fast seems to pass as would a snail crossing a desert. Tar gives way to cobbles. Cobbles give way to dust.