I mentioned a day or two back that arithmetic – especially in relation to transport – is not a Gambian strength. So it came as no surprise, when I got up at 6:00 to wave the group off on the next leg of their trip, that the 33 people had little chance of fitting themselves, their luggage, 200 bottles of water, cooking utensils, bags of rice and onions and 10 mattresses into a 25 seater bus. You have to accept a laxer approach to safety standards out here but it was eventually clear to all, including the locals, that the arithmetic just didn’t work. Finally, a compromise was arranged: four of the adults – two locals and a brace of toubabs – headed off in a taxi, whilst the rest went on the bus. The plan, as far as I could ascertain, was for the two lots to meet up on the ferry then for the main party to head to James Island, whilst the others would pick up a bush taxi (minibus used for public transport) and go straight to Kerewan, without the deviation en route.
I must admit to feeling a mix of sadness and nostalgia watching the party drive away: Kerewan is hot and hard work, but has always featured in IRA expeditions out here. Added to that, it has been great company for me to be amongst such a bunch of marvellous young people and some old friends and colleagues.
However, the next stage of my stay is about to happen: Sonia will already have left Inverness and be in the air towards Manchester, due to touchdown here on the same flight as the group used a week ago. I’m looking forward to seeing her and having a relaxing break.
I have added a parting photo or two to the Gallery.