The tiny dug out canoe from The Gambia dropped us on a small beach amongst some mangroves. Heading for the small town of Abene, we heaved the bikes down hot sandy paths under the blazing afternoon sun. This became a running theme of our time in the beautiful Basse Casamance region of Senegal.
Palm wine tapping. The sap ferments into a delicious, milky white drink. Sweet and fizzy in the morning and becoming stronger as the day goes on. Even the kids drink it.
Pirogues with colourful net flags in Abene
The lovely compound of Khady and Simon at Abene, we spent a happy few days relaxing in a treehouse with hammocks
Big tree! Actually its many trees growing into one big mass of tree.
Antie the parrot.
A great bridge on the way to the beach, made of out bits of old mangroves. Male passersby often like to insist on escorting my bike over obstacles for me.
These tiny pine cones really hurt with bare feet.
Seed pod owl… one way of passing the time in the middle of the day when its too hot to cycle (or move)
Camping in a family compound in the tiny and according to our map non-existent village of Saloulou, somewhere on an island in Casamance. We had a brilliant idea of island hopping down the coast, by the time we had realised this was a very sandy mistake it was too late, we had to go on.
The bikes take a boat trip through the mangroves.
New island, unchanged amounts of sand. This particular path took us nearly 5 hours to traverse, dragging the velos all the way.
It just got sandier and sandier… we eventually ended up at a remote farm where everyone was very surprised to see us. The next morning they walked us to the nearby(ish) village of Hitou to find a boat across the main river. Hitou is a sleepy place, with no electricity or shops and a long-closed bar. We spent a lot of time eating coconuts.
We hung out with a great gang of kids in Hitou who enjoyed commandeering the camera and taking pictures of bits of people’s faces.
They also liked trying to plait my hair… which was very painful.
Hitou’s landing stage, where we kept a weather eye open for boats for 4 days.
The gang assemble for a goodbye portrait as at last a boat arrived
We eventually managed to find a ride away with some palm wine traders. The boat was full of people, barrels, and a bewildered goat. The crew distracted us from the heavy lurching by insisting we hold out our cups for refills every 5 minutes with the cry “Drrrinkingg!”
And so we were deposited on the south bank of the river, completely skint, with no water or food, and hammered on palm wine at 11am. Told we were somewhere near the village of Nikine and that we should “ask the population” for instructions on how to find the path.
Resting in Cap Skirring, in civilisation once again. Puppy in a box!
Chilling in Ziguinchor.
A peaceful night’s camping by the river Casamance.