Imagine not hearing any cars, or tvs and radios, or planes. Imagine looking up at the sky and not seeing a single sign of a passing plane or steam from a nearby power station. Imagine looking up and seeing the Milky way on every cloudless night. Imagine driving a few miles out of town and being surrounded by nothing other then trees and bush land and lakes with the odd tiny sleepy community here and there. Imagine no traffic and bugger all people. Imagine breathing clean crisp air. Imagine watching a multicolour sunset over a empty lake or river. This is why I love being in Africa!
I can’t think of any way to describe why this continent is so special, all I can say is that this latest trip cements how I felt about the place first time round. My Uncle asked me why I was going and what there was to see, well the first paragraph explains why. And yes, I know I’m clocking up more air miles than Justin Beiber on his latest world tour and that my need for cheese is being met by a lardy dar fridge on board our truck, not to mention the fact that I work in intensive agriculture but hey I’m a hypocrite!
Fantastically we have spent as many nights in hotels as we have in tents but again this is a quirk of West Africa! Our first stop in The Gambia was at a campsite which charged the same amount to camp per person as it did to have one of their ensuite rooms. Also if you camped you would have had to pay extra to use a shower!
The camping so far has been great! Our first night bush camping was a washout. We pulled up and sat around trying to avoid the intense afternoon heat. Before we knew it a thunderstorm had moved in and the heavens opened half way through us putting up the tents, a slight mishap on our behalf but I found it all quite exciting! One stop in The Gambia was spent camping by a large river which was suitable for swimming and the following night (Sunday) we set up camp by the Atlantic ocean which was wierdly warm! All in all its been beautiful.
In terms of activities, we have had several boat rides in the wetlands of The Gambia which were mainly for bird spotting which I have no interest in but, getting out and about was super. We have had short drive days which means we’ve had plenty of time to relax and swim and avoid over heating in what feels like 1 billion per cent humidity! We had a fantastic two hour volley ball competition in the pool one afternoon and I have been teaching the guys how to play the epic game ‘Sand’ which only a few people have ever played before!
We are now back in Senegal, in the Cassamance region which has seen a few troubles in the past and means that if we wonder too far off the track for a toilet stop, it could be a bit more explosive than expected due to land mines! So far though the place is fantastic. We stopped at one hotel/camp area by a beautiful part of the coast line and we were told that they had only had three tourists visit in the past two years. We are some of the first guys to return back to the region especially on an overland truck which is quite exciting!
As per usual I think the photos will tell a lot more!