Monday, January 24, 2005

The Gambia, Fantasy Version

My daughter has suggested that my blog would be more exciting if I sounded a bit more like the Crocodile Hunter. So here goes:

Crikey! The mates down at the Guinean Embassy gave me my visa in only FIFTEEN MINUTES, which I'm sure is some kind of record! So nothing was going to stop me from my big adventure!

Now The Gambia is home to some of the most dangerous animals in the world! There's the giant, bomb sniffing rats that are as large as a COCKER SPANIEL! And the Goliath Frog is bigger than a dinner plate! Crikey, you don't want to see THAT when you come down in the morning for breakfast expecting pancakes!

And the Gambia River, she's long and flat and winding, just like an ANACONDA. In fact, she fills up the whole country! And inside she's full of water, which can KILL you if you sink in it! I knew I'd have to be keeping my wits about me as I boarded the bus along with my wife, my secretary, my wife's secretary, our manager, and the camera crew. Because this was going to be ME against the wildness of Africa!

Okay, I'm tuckered out now. And the Guinean Consulate isn't going to have my visa until three pm, which gives me plenty of time to waste. I did have the fantasy of taking the bus up to the end of the country, but now, considering that Guinea will probably be a lot of hard travellin', I'm going to head to Senegal and one last shot at the beach.

In the meantime I can report on The Gambia, which isn't quite as civilized as Senegal. It's a little poorer, a little more annoying. The annoying part, besides off and on electricity, consists mostly of 'friends' who appear, try and take you to where you were going in the first place, and then ask for money. All in all, it's still not that bad, though.

And you can probably blame the annoying stuff on the fact that out on the coast, past Serekunda, are all sorts of package tour hotel locations for a bunch of low price European package tour outfits. Tourists almost invariably screw up the local ambience.

One nice thing is that I get to use an English keyboard.


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