Monday 18th March 2013
Dakar N’gor Beach to Dakar City
Up late today and down to breakfast on our last morning in the La Madrague Hotel at the beach. After breakfast, we packed our bags and checked out of the hotel at 12noon and waited for our taxi which we had asked to come at 1.00pm and took us to the city hotel where we are staying for two nights until we leave on the trip from Dakar on Tuesday morning. We arrived and while we were checking in, our leader and co-driver were at reception and we met them. After checking in, we went out and had a late lunch then went out for dinner at 7pm with the other members of the group, who we met just before we went out. Dinner was at a Senegalese Restaurant and the meal was quite pleasant, but far too much food. Two of the group are still yet to arrive, but the others all seem pretty nice.
Tuesday 19th March 2013
We went out this morning to post a package home (mainly tea from Cameroon) and on the way back, bought some supplies for breakfast. After breakfast in our room, we had the pre-trip meeting and met the other two members of the group. After about nearly two hours the meeting finished and we were able to head off (running) towards the ferry, as we were going to visit Ile de Goree, a small historical island just off the coast of Senegal, quite near the port of Dakar. It was only a twenty minute ride on the ferry. We met Jan, one of our fellow passengers who comes from Utah, on the ferry. There are no vehicles on the island, but many old buildings, museums, small hotels and lots of people selling artworks. We walked up to Le Castel at the far side of the island. There were steep drops on all sides with no safety fences. Obviously this was an old defence system for Dakar, with old gun emplacements (probably from WW2) and even older cannons from an earlier time. After walking around and looking at various old buildings, we had lunch at a restaurant near the wharf and then finally had a look at the Maison des Esclaves (Slave House) – this place had a potted history of the slave trade from West Africa from the 14th to 19th centuries. Ile de Goree is an atmospheric place with lots of tourists on day trips(like us). The weather was fine and very windy because of the proximity of the ocean. After we had finished on the island, we caught the ferry back to the city and walked back up to our hotel for an aperitif before dinner. Dinner at the same restaurant as last night with all of the group this time.