Primož Jakopin, photo diary

The Gambia
Brikama, Bald Cape

January 23, 2018, 24 pictures

          Most images are approximately 683 x 1024 pixels in size, numbers in front of the picture descriptions are serial numbers of the original photo files.
Ayssa and Pubby again participated in many pictures of this page.

          Pictures photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin 2018.



38450. View of the front part of the taxicab, a seasoned Mercedes Benz W201, 190 D, during the ride to Brikama. Renting a car is not straightforward here, at the Bajul airport there are no rent-a-car booths like, for instance, in the Canary islands, despite the more promising information on Internet. Connecting to Avis Banjul web site yielded the response of no available cars, even one month later and even two months later. So some emergency steps were called for. At the airport there are guys waiting for tourists who need any kind of service and the most outspoken of them declared that he can get the author a suitable car for rent in no time. Albeit not at the airport, somewhere closer to Banjul. So he called a friend, a taxi driver, and the party drove off north. The price of either the car nor the taxi ride was not known - it will be settled, so was the information, as soon as we get the car for rent. We drove north through Serekunda, with its 20 minutes-long-to-pass market, and from there to Bakau, at the continuation of the Senegambia Road - so it turned out later, when you get more acquainted with the place. The place to rent a car was a used cars shop and there were 3 cars available, a large SUV, a Mercedes Benz A 170 and a Peugeot 206. The first was out of range, the latter two would cost 1500 dalasis per day (about 27 euros), if rented for a week and paid in advance. The Mercedes did not make the best impression - the front fenders were not well aligned with the car body, there were slots of different widths, the windows were hard-to-see-through. Peugeot was, so said the shop owner, just 3 months old - brought from the Banjul docks to where it was transported from Holland where it served previous owners for close to 20 years. Kilometer counter was showing the figure 238.000. The car looked suitable, only the driver's outside mirror was hanging on the wires - the support was broken. The owner said it is a minor glitch, can be fixed in half an hour. They would fix it and bring the car to the hotel or other place in Senegambia where where we would stay. A modest deposit of 1000 dalasis (18 euros) was given and the party left towards Senegambia. The first stop was at the Apartments Plaza, at the NW side of the Senegambia Road/Senegambia Highway junction. Not as splendid as on the site but nevertheless nice apartments, with kitchen, yet out of reach for the author's pocket. Even the single-bed ones. After some fruitless haggling we departed to the nearby Taf Annex appartments, in the side street, more battered but more accessible (2000 dalasis per night, payable for a week in advance). If the own car was already at hand there would be some more energy left for the search of a (far) more suitable solution (as will be described towards the end of this reports) but the prospect of mounting taxi costs and also the hungry airport helper's eyes were all in favor of Taf Annex. 250 euros and the party had where to stay. Taxi costed another 1000 dalasis (instead of 300, if agreed in advance), and the helper 200 (plus additional 200 some time later). The problem with the car was that the owner brought the car at around 8 in the evening. The mirror was OK and 10.500 dalasis changed hands. Yet, as the owner was about to leave the author asked where are the car's documents. In the car's glove compartment, was the answer. A quick check revealed an empty compartment. The owner had a ready solution, we can use the car as it is, nobody will ask you for the car's papers, the police does not stop tourists, but anyhow - he will bring the papers some time later and leave them at the night guard in front of the compound entrance. Well, he did not. The next morning at 10 we (Ayssa, Pubby and the tourist) left for Brikama with taxi (400 dalasis one way, agreed before the ride).



38458. Three sisters, 7 years, 4 years, 15 months, on the bed



38460. Cleaning the fish in the (common) compound yard



38462. A snack: cooked green beans, a baguette (7 dalasis), garlic, a malarone pill and aronia juice with hot water



38463. A more serious snack: cooked rice with spices, cooked vegetables and fish in hot sauce ...



38464. ... at the end of snack, both furnees are seen at the side, s mall one and ...



38465. ... the big one. It is the most common cooking stove in the country, inexpensive and very efficient at the same time. Charcoal can be used, as well as more affordable firewood. Even the charcoal is, if compared to the price of gas (especially in cartridges), by an order of magnitude less expensive. The small furnee costs from 50 - 75 dalasis, the big one 150 - 250.



38469. A big wooden spice mortar with a long pestle is an indispensable utensil in the Gambian kitchen.



38472. Girls returning from school



38473. Two goat bucks are slowly getting ready for future fights.



38477. A goat with her young on a termite heap



38480. Two young women on the way home, from the store



38481. Two little schoolgirls, homebound too



38483. Red BMW Mini is a fancy shmancy car, even more so in Brikama



38484. Returning home from school



38478. Lunch time



38485. Doing the laundry



38487. Motor bike shop across the side road



Bald Cape near Tanji


38493. A flotilla of fishing boats on the shore above the beach in Ghanatown, view west towards Bald Cape



38494. A flock of seagulls



38495. View west across the beach, to the cape, half an hour before the sunset



38497. The sun, long telephoto view



38500. Pubby and Ayssa against the sunset, full figure ...



38499. ... and a close-up



  From Brussels to Banjul, Senegambia, January 22     Senegambia, Brikama, Gambia River, Bald Cape, January 24  

This page, text and photos by Primož Jakopin; send inquiries and comments to primoz jakopin guest arnes si (insert dots and at sign as appropriate). Page initiated on February 18, 2018; date of the last change: February 20, 2018.