The Gambia is known as the smiling coast because of people's friendliness and warm smiles. So, I was sad to leave The Gambia today.
Crossing the Border into Senegal was quick and easy. The police woman on the Senegal entry post requested money, which I refused, and she responded with "what do you have for me?". I flung my arms wide open and proclaimed that I had lots of love for her! She said she didn't love me :( I left without paying.
I'd arranged to stay with a guy called Lamine in Sedhiou through couchsurfing. This is my first time using the website, and I was keen to meet and stay with local Senegalese people. We met in the town and I followed Lamine home on his motorcycle taxi.
Lamine was incredibly hospitable and his family were so friendly and welcoming. He allowed me to store my motorcycle inside his house. I felt awkward at first because I was sweaty and smelly from my riding gear, so I jumped in the outdoor shower to douse myself with bucket and water.
We walked into town to visit the blacksmith who was preparing a mould for making patio slabs.
Lamine is a comedian and has a slot on Gabou FM 106.4 every Saturday night... it was Saturday night!
We drank tea at the radio station then Lamine ushured me into the studio to sit down at the back. The show started and the three comedians had huge energy. I didn't understand anything, but it was clear they were very funny and the excitement was immense! I did hear "Stephen" and "Angleterre", so looks like I got a mention!
Afterwards, we returned home for food then went on to a bar. Whilst staying at Lamine, his friends and family fed me extremely well and we drank lots of sweet tea.
A friend of Lamine was explaining what life is like for him. He has two wives and four kids. Each day, he needs 1000 CFA to feed the family. Ironically, he was encouraging me to eat more of the peanuts we were sharing because he said they make strong sperm!
Lamine had to work the next day making patio slabs so I helped for one hour. It was hard work in 35 C! Lamine didn't push me to help, but I was keen to get involved and try it. I hope my contribution to the work did actually help!
Before leaving, we snapped a few photos.
The road West out of Sedhiou was new and an easy ride until where the road was being constructed. At which point, I followed the track next to it for about 10 miles across to Marsassoum. A local lad carrying a bag of fish started chatting to me, and he explained the ferry schedule.
This is where the local lad had purchased his fish. When I asked what fish they were, he wasn't too forthcoming and explained he was poor and could only afford this. To me, the bag of fish seemed very fresh as some were still moving, and healthy and nutritious.
On board the ferry, I spotted a motorcycle with a style of hand guards I hadn't seen before. In Africa, I've seen cows, goats etc stowed on top of buses, and now a motorcycle!