. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: October 4, 1998

Sunday, October 4, 1998
Tendaba to Georgetown, The Gambia
The Gambia's Flag

Georgetown, The Gambia:
Latitude: 13° 32' 20" North
Longitude: 14° 45' 35" West
Altitude: 1349 feet
From Seattle: 6888 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Baobolong Camp

Today's Travel:
Country: The Gambia
Regions: Lower River Division, MacCarthy Island
Route: Hitched: Tendaba - Kwinella; Bush Taxi: Kwinella - Soma -MacCarthy Ferry; Ferry: MacCarthy Island; On Foot: Ferry - Georgetown
Path:Tendaba - Georgetown, The Gambia
Linear:70 miles
Weather: Sunny (Hot!)

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 542
Linear Dist: 126401
Countries Visited: 37
Regions Visited: 155
More stats...
Hotels: 149
Friends / Family: 154
Camping: 42
Hostels: 141
Transit: 49
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 1970

Journal Entry:
From the camp in the morning I was able to hitch a ride in the back of a pick up truck. It was very authentic with me and three locals in the back while the truck bounced along the red mud road through beautiful green fields with a crystal clear blue sky above. Didn't have to wait to long in Kwinella for a bush taxi to Georgetown.

Got dropped off at the ferry landing for MacCarthy island While waiting for the ferry to load (two cars, the ferry is attached to a rope and the river is maybe 100 yards wide here) a man approached and wanted to take me to a camp. I said no thanks, but he was very insistent and I eventually just ignored him. He followed me on to the ferry and when I got off he prevented me from getting in the shared taxi telling me it was full, until it really was full. He then "found" me another taxi who was willing to take just me in to town for 25 D (the shared taxi should have been about 2). I was pissed and told him off and went to sit in the shade. He followed. I moved again. He followed, constantly repeating it was no problem and he didn't want any money from me. I told him it was a problem and threatened to hit him and headed off down the road - finally by myself. The mile walk into town wasn't so far, but it was very hot and I was very uncomfortable, and by the time I got into town I was very angry. In town (small, one street) I was accosted by people pushing their camps which just made me madder. It was hard to tell who was more bloodthirsty, the mosquitoes or the touts. Neither helped my attitude. Finally found some shade and sat down and spent almost an hour just sitting there chasing off the occasionally aggressively friendly local and debating whether I should stay or just head out.

I decided if I could find a decent place I'd stay. I checked one of the camps recommended by both guide books and found it too disgusting to even consider staying in (and I am not picky about accommodations). The second place was twice the price, but definitely worth the extra. Still not great and I don't think I trust the sheets, but bearable. Spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Georgetown and the island. The people are so friendly that it was annoying as I just wanted to be left alone. There's not much of the colony left (some decaying building mostly obscured by the growth), and the town itself seems to be slowly atrophying. Overall I am not impressed with Georgetown. Saw some amazing birds though...

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: The Gambia
CIA World Fact Book: The Gambia

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