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Published: April 9th 2010
Crossing the border
12 people plus the driver
The Gambia - The African Jamaica
The Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, engulfed by Senegal. Its borders follow the Gambia River, which flows through the country's centre and empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
We entered the country in the east, staying one night in Basse Santa Su, arriving from the Senegalese town of Velingara, in a taxi that had more rust than metal and carried an amzing 13 people (including 3 on the roof).
We spent 4 days on Janjanbureh Island in the town of Janjanbureh, formerly known during colonial times as Georgetown. Here we met some very friendly people and were encouraged to stay just because of peoples hospitality.
The slave house was very interesting. The Gambia shares historical roots with many other West African nations in the slave trade, which was key to the establishment of a colony on the Gambia River, first by the Portuguese and later by the British.
Georgetown used to be one of the most important trading cities existing on the river Gambia, and it was a very important resting place for slaves continuing on to the Americas. Nowadays the slave house is a museum to the
atrocious bad handling of human stock, with evidence of the heavy shackles and chains the aggressive, resistant slaves had to withstand.
We traveled downriver from Janjanbureh, paying 700 Dalasi (20 Euros) for a river trip down to six junction, an area where the river splits into six branches. We were extremely lucky and observed hippos, crocodiles and many monkeys and baboons.
I also used the opportunity to eat my Gambian corn flakes.
From Janjanbureh we went to the coast. We found a nice hotel at Sanyang beach and enjoyed the gorgeous weather, the drum playing, the Bob Marley cigarettes and watching the Male prostitutes strut their stuff.
After 11 days we ran out of money and crossed back into Senegal.
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