Friday, November 30, 2018

Saint Louis, Senegal, November 30, 2018

I decided not to take the boat tour because those who went yesterday spent most of their time walking around on a sandbar.  They did see large pelicans but I didn't think it was worth it so I went back into Saint Louis.

Our first stop was back at the fabric and sewing market, where Lauretta was looking for a nice light cotton to perhaps make a dress.  I chose some fabric for elastic waist pants but after learning they would cost me over $34, I declined.  I'd love a pair of pants made out of patchwork cloth like this quilt-

There are numerous fabric shops and also notions shops-

I spent the rest of the morning in a hotel lobby drinking beer and using their wifi, then met the group for lunch.  We ended up separating because The Flamingo was almost triple the price of other places.  I tried a new restaurant and had thiéboudienne.  It's a local dish of flavoured rice, topped with a spicy vegetable salsa, grilled fish - probably mackerel or herring, then roasted carrots, cassava and turnip.  It was delicious!

There's not a lot more to see so I just wandered a bit.  The river and boats look great in the sunshine-

A well restored French style building-

More public transportation and ramshackle buildings-

After, I went back to the hotel for wifi and to wait for the rest of the group to finish their carriage ride before going back to the campsite.  

On our way back to the campsite we passed numerous piles of shells that are raked out of the rivers and used in road and concrete construction-

There's a great metal sculpture at the campsite-

We're waiting on a driver to return from Dakar with our carnet for insurance for the truck.  Because he hasn't  arrived, we are spending another day in Saint Louis.  Not sure what I'll do!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Saint Louis, Senegal, November 29, 2018

I had this post ready to publish and poof, it disappeared so this is a combination of pictures and text.

Local transportation-

Once through a town, we approached the main attraction according to Lying Planet:  Pontfaide connecting Saint Louis to the mainland.  It was originally designed by Gustave Eiffel and is a little over 500 m long.  This new bridge was erected in 2000-

Local transportation is great but Antigua in Guate and its chicken buses still wins-

Lunch was a great paella: grilled chicken which was kind of dry, roasted sheep knuckle and very flavor full rice topped with a huge shrimp-

After lunch I went for a walk and crossed a bridge lined with fishing boats-

I ended up in the narrowest of streets-

Where fabric is sold and clothes are sewn-

Walking  back to our meeting point, there were bales of hay for sale-

We met our carriage driver and after a bit of haggling, we had an Englsih speaking guide.  Lauretta and I speak French but we didn't want to have to translate for an hour and a half for Lutz and Norm.  That gets so tiring.  Our tour started on the north side of the river where it was very quiet.  There are buildings with French architecture, mimicking the balconies of New Orleans and also Portuguese style buildings with flat fronts-

Muslims pray five times a day and prayer times are announced from a loud speaker on the top of the minaret. Non Muslims find this extremely irritating.  95% of Senegal is Suni Muslim but they get along very well with the 5% Catholics.  There are also Catholic schools and churches.  When the French moved in to colonize the area, they made the Muslims put a bell on the Grand Mosquée because they didn't want to be disturbed with the hollering.  It's one of the few mosques in the world with a bell but today they use the speakers.  The mosque was very recently restored-

We crossed onto the north side of the island and all hell broke loose.  24,000 people live in an area 1 km by 100 meters-

Goats are everywhere-

There was even a pet pelican on the street-

A year ago there was a huge storm and the island was covered in sea water.  The bank eroded and buildings fell into the sea-

Women wait for their men to come home from fishing-

Mending nets-

They fish mackerel, herring and some marlin.  There are 14,000 fishermen in 8,000 boats.  They can't possibly sell all they catch so lots rots.  They've already overfished the waters nearby so have moved into Mauritanian waters.  A fisherman has been killed because they are trespassing.  It's so stupid because they're going to run out of fish and then what?

Kids love to have their picture taken-

The people of Saint Louis-

We stopped at a Muslim cemetery.  People are usually buried the same day they die unless an autopsy is required-

After our tour, our cab driver was waiting.  He took us to the local liquor store where we could buy beer for $1.43 instead of $4.13 at the campsite.  I also bought a bottle of rum that tastes more like lighter fluid!  Then we headed back to camp. 

I really enjoyed my day in Saint Louis and am planning a pirogue (small boat) trip tomorrow to see some birds.  

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