A lazy day on the river in the Gambia

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Atlantis
January 12th 2011
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 13.1651, -16.8091

The Denton Bridge spans the Coco River and connects the capital Banjul to the rest of the mainland. It is from here that the boat trips set off, outwards for those who want to fish or up river for those like us who wanted tranquillity. The Chef comes out to greet us and we clamber aboard our pirogue and meet the Captain and his helper. There are not many boats around as it is already 11.30am and most have left but we do not like early starts on holiday! It is high tide as the boat meanders through the Mangrove trees and it is also very quiet. There is not much to see apart from the Mangroves stretching mile after mile so apart from waving to the odd passing boat we relax on top and sunbathe, read and have a beer. We pass by Pelican island and see lots of the birds resting on their own bit of land.

At some point the boat is moored in the middle of the river and we drift around the anchor as the tide reaches its highest and then starts to go out. During this time our chef has been preparing lunch and he soon sits us at our table, opens the wine and serves us with a delicious prawn salad starter followed by a skewer of fish and one of chicken done in a lovely sauce. We can't eat it all but manage the Crème Brule dessert. After this very filling meal we sit on chairs at the top front of the boat as we sail back. The tide is out so now all the oysters can be seen clinging to the roots of the Mangrove trees. There are no oyster catchers out as this is the wrong season for harvesting them. There are however lots and lots of birds catching their early evening dinner. We are hopeless at naming birds but they are lovely to watch. All too soon we are back at the Bridge and off the boat. We have paid the equivalent of a month's salary for the Chef which is food for thought.

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