Sunday, 9 March 2014

1.3.14 Saturday. Clean Up Day

Another early morning for us all.  We quickly got dressed and packed all our belongings into the minibus.  Salimatou, one of the teachers had arranged a taxi to collect Steve, Fiona and I and she travelled with us to Barra.  It was pitch dark and I sat with my camera on my lap hoping for another appearance by the strange un-named animal I had seen two years ago, but no such luck.  We arrived at the ferry port before the ticket office opened and sat in the dark waiting for sun-rise.  We managed to find a stall selling coffee and so kept warm until the sun came up.  Mr Secka came to see us off and discuss the mending of his book shelves at Essau.  As soon as the ticket office opened Mr Secka went and got the required tickets and stayed until we were safely through the gates into the departure area with the minibus.  We then discovered that the ferry was still in Banjul, and so we began the long wait for the first ferry.  We passed the time by shopping for breakfast and more coffee, and looking longingly at the horizon, hoping to see the ferry.  Eventually it arrived and we were allowed to board, the minibus being the last vehicle on as many of the vehicles had spent the night inside the port waiting to cross.  We arrived in Banjul before noon, but as it was clean-up day we had to leave the minibus and walk until we found a café willing to serve us.  All businesses should be closed until 1pm, but fortunately we were able to go inside a closed café and pull down the shutter while we had a welcome cold drink and a plate of chips to share!  Eventually 1pm came and our minibus came to collect us and take the girls back to their hotel for the rest of the day.  Steve, Fiona and I got a taxi and returned home, where we rested in the afternoon before taking Fiona for a last meal at Yashmina’s and then on to the airport to fly home.  We then returned home for an early night after all these early morning risings.

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