Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Dakar, Senegal, December 3, 2018

We hopped on a chartered local transport bus-

and headed to Dakar to the Sierra Leone embassy with the hope of obtaining our visas.  Our driver, like so many people in Africa, wanted to please and so rather than admit he didn't know where the embassy might be, or that he could or couldn't speak French or English, he bluffed.  So, even after showing him numerous times, we were miles from where we should have been.  What should have been an hour and a few minutes trip took over two hours and by this time it was smoking hot.  A funny thing did happen though - the window fell right our of our bus and landed on the street!  It was much cooler inside after that.  

More cool buses-

The huge speaker on the dash of our bus played loud music and the driver's shotgun friend clapped to the beat and tried to get us going too-

It was a bit of a process to get our visas.  First, most people needed 60,000 CFA or $138 while people travelling with a UK passport needed twice that!  So we had to visit nearby banks to get the money, then fill out a form and include a photocopy of our passport and 2 photos.  Once Neinke had collected all the money, she had to go to the nearby bank to deposit it and return with a receipt.  Well, the banks are very busy and you must take a number when you enter to get a place in line.  When she got there, they were on around number 60 and she pulled 120.  It took a few hours before she returned.  I wanted to visit L'Ile de Gorée which was a slave port and I did not want to have a 2+ hour ride back in tomorrow, so Lauretta and I stayed in at a hotel.  After reading this sign posted at our hotel reception-

we asked for a room away from the street so we wouldn't be awakened so early tomorrow morning!  I went exploring and had my toe nails shellacked for $11.51.  That's all it should cost at home too! 
I thought of Nioo when I read this t-shirt-

Richard and Rhona also stayed in but at a different hotel with a roof top bar-

 We went out for supper later.  Finally I tried mafé which has a tomatoe and peanut based sauce-

served with rice, chicken and roasted vegetables.  There was enough for two people but unfortunately I didn't really like it because the sauce didn't have enough flavour for me.   Complimentary bottles of whiskey, rum and crème de menthe of all things were brought to our table after we had finished-

Looking forward to visiting Gorée Island tomorrow!

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