Primož Jakopin, photo diary

The Gambia
Tanji, Gunjur, Kartong

January 28, 2018, 32 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.

Pubby participated in many pictures of this page (Ayssa chose to stay in Senegambia), and so did Tine Schermer and Joep Florie.

          Pictures photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin 2018.



38685. Breakfast: polenta with banana, soaked dry cranberries and mulberries, camomille tea, Malarone pill (not shown)




Tanji Bird Reserve, South of Bald Cape

38686. View north with a lagoon and a flock of birds



38693. View south over the lagoons, with Tanji port and its boats in the background



38692. A flock of seagulls ...



38696. ... in a closer, telephoto view



38698. Pubby is crossing a narrow lagoon strait





38687. Two girls who travelled with us from Sanyang to Gunjur.



38699. The road to Gunjur port, view west



38691. Three ladies on the shore, busy with their cell phones. In the background there is large flotilla of fishing boats. Gunjur has no standard port with a pier and protected harbour, the boats are either on anchor a bit outside or pulled out, on the shore. Nevertheless Gunjur is the largest fishing village on the Gambian coast. Next to the shore there are also large fish smoking establishments.



38702. Several fishing boats on anchor



38703. Three fishing boats close to the shoreline



38704. Pubby and his new acquaintance Jimmy from Gunjur, who immediately volunteered as a guide



38694. View of the shore, to the north of the port





38700. To the south of the village there is a junction where the paved road ends. Two sandy roads fork off - the left one leads to the nearby ferry terminal, ferry over a narrow river to Casamance, Senegal, and the right one hits the sea, also a few stone throws away. Here a large Chinese fish factory is situated, a compound of about 60 x 70 m, one of the two in Gambia. The other one is also located on the coast, on the southern side of Gunjur. There are two checkpoints in Kartong, one on the paved road south, before the end of the village, and the second at the end of the paved road, to the south, close to the ferry. Standard road checpoints in the Gambia are operated by police, at the entry and exit of major settlements and on all access roads to seaside resorts. They are a simple, fuss-free and understandable safety measure, started by a polite How are you? question to which the driver would answer with Thank you. I am fine, and how are you?, and a smile. It all gives enough time for a brief visual checkup of the car's interior, and the car may proceed. Unlike checkpoints around, for instance, the northwestern coast of the Red Sea, which are always combined with road obstacles, a series of adjacent short and high road bumps or even with a slalom between empty oil barrels, Gambian checkpoints are usually marked by just two red-and-white traffic cones in the middle of the road, one to begin and one one to end, the policeperson stands inbetween. The checkpoints in Kartong and to the south are not manned by police but by the army and a bayonet-fitted assault rifle in one's hands gives a different kind of authority than a mere pistol attached to the waist belt. The soldier at the first checkpoint had a question related to help with getting some herbs that are also grown locally in Kartong but after Pubby engaged in conversation and found out that they are both from Brikama the tone became more amicable and so was the parting a few minutes later. The procedure at the second checkpoint went quicker and soon we were at the coast. But some fear creeped into Pubby and on his insisting the plan to leave the car there and to proceed 2 km on foot to the southernmost point of Gambia, to the tip of the narrow sandy peninsula between the Atlantic and the Allahein river, one of the most remote (and romantic, who knows?) hot spots in the country, that plan was abandoned. Pubby just did not know when the checkpoint guards change on duty and was afraid that we would encounter a different one on return if we do not go back soon, preferably very soon. In the picture - view of the factory from the road.



38705. A road forks off to the left of the main paved road, a short distance after the mosque, and reaches the sea after half a mile. Here a beach, depicted here, opens up. It was so magnificent that the desire to proceed south popped up again, though the distance to the tip of the peninsula would be longer, 4 km instead of 2. There are no checkpoints on the beach. But the desire had to be scrapped again because we brought no food which Pubby would like to eat and 4 km (one way) would also put his walking capabilities to a (too) severe test. Maybe next time, in different circumstances. So the advice for those who wish to visit the magical southernmost tip of the Gambia: leave the car either here or at the end of the sandy road which continues about 1 km to the south, and proceed from there on foot. That was the intention of Tine and Joep who walked to Kartong, along the beach, from Gunjur. It took them two and a half hours. But after hearing about the fish factory they decided to join us, on the way back to Senegambia.



38707. View south from the same standpoint ...



38708. ... and a view north.



38706. A snack: cooked vegetables, a bit harder than chard or spinach, but quite edible, costed just 3 dalasis on the Kartong market, beetroot salad, bread, garlic, blackcurrant jam, black cumin oil, aronia juice with hot water



38709. A wave is spilling across the sandy shore



38711. To the southeast of the village, next to the paved road, between the two checkpoints, there is a large dry lake bed. The car driver noticed it the first time already but decided to come again to see it better, with Tine and Joep, too. On the eastern side of it there is a palm forest ...



38712. ... and to the south a shore of mangroves.



38713. Pubby, Tine and Joep in the dry lake bed ...



38714. ... here up close.



38716. A palm forest to the east with a motorcycle passing by ...



38717. ... also in closer view.



38719. Dry lake shore to the south, with mangroves



The House of Tine in Bijilo


38720. View of the house entrance from the yard. The house is large, has 3 bedrooms; the rent was in the region of 14.000 dalasis per month.



38722. Tine and Pubby on the staircase to the terrace which also serves as the house roof.



38721. View of the neighbourhood from the terrace, to the east



38723. Mosquito net in Tine's bedroom, Tine and Pubby. A good net is an absolute necessity as Tine spends considerable time here, year after year. Although Malarone pills can be, according to some studies, used for longer periods of time, the generally accepted EU recommendation is that up to 3 months are safe, the pills have side effects such as the increase in amylase enzyme level, often connected to pancreas problems, especially in cases when a person is already inclined in that direction.



38724. Her portrait





38725. Evening snack: baked potatoes on onions, baked fish, bread, wonjo and baobab bio jam (very delicious), lemon, apple compote



  Senegambia, Banjul, Denton Bridge, January 27     Senegambia, Coast West of Denton Bridge, January 29  

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 23, 2018; date of the last change: February 27, 2018.