Day 55. Sunday, 12th February. At Camp Sukuta in The Gambia. Day 56. Monday, 13th Onwards to Ziguinchor in the Casamance Region of Southern Senegal.

Camp Sukuta

I am combining two days as we did little of interest resting at Camp Sukuta. 

In the morning we chatted to a young Italian couple who had arrived the night before. They were telling us about a natural preparation they take to prevent malaria called Artemisia. They had purchased a bag full from some nuns. It looks like a type of tea. You take a large pinch, about 5 grams, boil it, let it cool for fifteen minutes, then add honey or sugar. It very bitter apparently. They believe it to be effective. We’re taking Adam’s conventional Doxycycline.

Redcoat Freight Terminal at Banjul International Airport

We found the freight terminal easily from Lynn’s instructions. The large building to the right of the International Terminal. We went to visit the Manager, Mansour. I thought security would be quite strict but we drove straight into the car park. On asking for Mansour we were told to take the staircase and we would find Mansour’s office at the end of the building.

Mansour was very welcoming and we talked about the history of Redcoat, the airline and the freight business. A tour of the building then followed and we met some of the staff and visited Customs and the incoming and outgoing freight areas. After taking some photos with Poki we were on our way to the border.

Gambia Border

The road through The Gambia was good and we made quick progress. The first stop on reaching the border was to surrender our vehicle document. There was no queue, so our passports were then quickly stamped. 

We thought we were finished, but Customs wanted to search Poki. An interesting young man told us to bring Poki over to him. He was very knowledgeable about New Zealand. When I asked him how he knew so much he told me he was a “Geographer” and he was interested in NZ. We laughed and joked with him, but he still gave Poki a pretty thorough search.

Southern Senegal Border

Once in Senegal, the vehicle papers were first again. This time they wanted to see our Carnet and stamped it again. In Dakar they told me this would not be necessary. It would be stamped out when we left Senegal for Guinea Bissau. Now we have two entry stamps, so I hope this won’t be an issue.

Passports were stamped quickly and we were not searched again. The road was pretty potholed but we reached Ziguinchor without any issues. It was quite difficult to find a place to pull off the road for lunch. Eventually we found a field which we shared with some bulls and a very large termite mound.

Camping Casamance

Ziguinchor was quite peaceful. More like a country town than the capital of the Casamance region. Pap, the campsite owner was very welcoming. Adam was pleased to see us and Lars and Els were also there. 

We caught up over some beers and learned Lars and Els had had an unpleasant experience. Not exactly an attack, but worrying none the less. The assailant had grabbed Els’s arm. Els lashed out with her head torch and hit the man on the head. They then drove off rapidly without putting things away. They stopped a while later to sort themselves out. 

This experience has rather shaken them. They have asked if they can travel with us. This will be a loose arrangement. If any of us want to do something different we will do so. 

We cooked dinner in Poki then had an early night.

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