Now I am in Dakar.
The flight was as run of the mill as ever. On the flight to Lisbon I felt no surprise to note that the only film being shown was one I had seen the weekend before. However due to the age of both planes no films were shown at all and we were treated to a silent viewing of foods of the world. Not the best to be comparing your airline food with.
Arrived at Dakar airport at around 2am. Naturally the airport hotel was booked out. The ATM was also not working and the money exchange was also shut or rather being painted. I ended up changing money in the Cyber centre which was also closed for all activities except money changing at outragous rates. I really felt like I was back in Africa.
I attracted a few hangers on but broke most of them by waiting til dawn before departing for town. Met a nice guy from Western Australia in the coffee shop while waiting. He was going to Niger to the mines but couldnt leave the airport despite his flight going at 5pm the next day as he didn't have a visa.
At the cab rank there were herds of goats.
In town it was pretty busy so the first few hotels were full which was a bit of a bummer. As so often when I'm travelling the words shoulda booked ahead came to mind. But what can you do. I spent the day getting passport photos and heading to the Mali embassy. It wasn't open but was told to come back Monday or Lundi as I now know it so I will see then. Have heard a rumour that the train may go on a Wednesday but this may not be true.
There is this park next to the ocean where there are crowds of people exercising which was quite strange. The town itself is very colonial feeling with big wide streets and overhanging trees. There are a surprising amount of beggers in wheelchairs too. At night it is pretty dark and the trees give a really romantic image of the city with only one or two streetlights to show your way. The food is great, a side effect of the French and the expats all dress really well. The markets are filled with Senegalese football shirts and there are mobile phones shops everywhere. The people here are really lovely and words like Merci and Bonjour are springing to my lips readily already. I suspect any further than this will take time however.
I'm thinking of going to a slave island Ile de Goree tomorrow and then I'll move to a fishing village called Yoff on Monday.
ros from URL @ 11:48 am