Djidjack, Palmarin, Senegal
It does just take time. Unwinding, relaxing, recovering, emerging from Lariam delirium …
We have been here at Djidjack for a week now. It has truly been a week of very little activity. We have mainly been reading, and reading and reading … and watching the birds drink and bath in the improvised birdbath we have resurrected near the campsite. As health and welfare has improved, we have ventured into the nearby village a few times, and managed the 100m walk to the beach (once).
We have hardly been alone though – it has been quite busy in the campsite. There is a French couple in a Transit van who have been here for almost the same length of time. They have been really active, and been out every day in their vehicle to visit nearby villages, explore via pirogue, go on fishing tours – and then tell us all out it in the evening. It makes us feel a little guilty at times for being quite so lazy. We have also been chatting about onward travel options with them.
We were also joined by 3 overland vehicles with 5 Austrians. They were here for a few days, catching up, doing vehicle repairs and relaxing. Till & Carmen and Rene are travelling for a year, while Deborah & Oliver have to return to Europe by March. It has been wonderful to have the company. As is always the case, talk always turns to vehicles and who has what, who has done what. They are in a Mercedes truck, and Steyr truck and a Land Rover. Interestingly, while we would love the privacy a self contained vehicle, they would love the convenience of a smaller vehicle! I guess no matter what you have, there are always compromises! (More about that in Viking Explorer’s coming post).
On one day, the 7 of us pooled resources and hired a pirogue to tour the mangrove delta nearby. It was very interesting to explore the mangroves on a boat – there is very little visible land, and the tree roots appear to disappear straight into the water, with root tips occasionally appearing like snorkels above the waterline. We didn’t see a huge abundance of birdlife – perhaps with a bird guide it would have been different. We stopped on a little island and our guide scaled a baobab to pick a fruit for us all to share. It was tasty, but a bit chalk-like in texture.
Once again, we continue to be humbled by the friendliness and generosity of the locals. We wandered in today to find a dressmaker to turn a piece of funky Senegalese fabric I bought into a skirt. A young chap in the village directed us to the man with the machine and I explained as best I could what I wanted. Then, the young man, Dominique, insisted that we return to his house and join him for tea, which we duly did. We sat and chatted – in both French and English – he brewed tea and we learned about his soccer playing in Dakar, and how he is training the youngsters in the village now that he has returned. We met other various family members – including a few small children who really were a bit fascinated by our white skins! After we enjoyed tea and were preparing to depart, a large bowl of millet, fish and vegetables appeared – and we shared in a delicious lunch prepared by his step-mom. Very, very kind.
And so we relax and enjoy. I am learning that this is a part of travelling too.
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