Monday, December 07, 2009

Georgetown Back to Lamin Lodge

Spent the first day on our way back down the river from Georgetown just drifting slowly down the river to Baboon Island. This is the most stunning part of the river and we hoisted our half winder in what little wind there was and drifted 2,5 knots/hour (very slowly). This allowed us to get a really good look at the trees and reeds along the river and spot monkeys, baboons in the trees and crocodiles along the bank. A dreamy day spent sitting on the deck staring at the river bank, the skies for birds, the sail or our own little monkeys splashing and giggling around in their baths in the cockpit. Spent the night at anchor just above Baboon Island hoping to wake to some good hippo activity reported recently in that spot.

On the following day, after another lovely drifter, we arrived in the late afternoon at a funny pointy mound next to Bird Island. Walked to the top of the hill to watch the sunset, and stare at the beautiful expanse of the savannah, usually shielded for us by the lush vegetation along the river. A small group of children met us and asked if we would come visit their village the next morning and we eagerly agreed. A 17-year old boy named was our chief guide. Their village of 140 people lived in extended family communes made up of circles of mud and reed huts leading out onto an open courtyard where the livestock (usually goats and chickens) ran free. Our host showed us his commune and his hut which consisted of a single room with a double bed (with mosquito net) set on a mud floor, mud walls with a reed roof. The only adornment was a poster of French football great, Zinedine Zidane tacked to the wall – in a village with no electricity and certainly no television. Once again confirming that football is really universal. Once again we walked back to our boats feeling like we had just had a glimpse of something special.

As the river widened and became salty we picked up speed to make miles towards Banjul. We planned to stay for 2 days in Lamin Lodge to bring on water, diesel, fresh vegetables and fruit and hopefully to score another butterfish.

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