Posted by: tim ellis | July 7, 2007

Gambia – Wednesday 27 June, 2007

Baboucarr is supposed to be calling for us at eight, but he has overslept, as we discover when we phone him to find out where he is! We set out to hunt for breakfast, which is not in the same restaurant we ate in last night. It turns out to be much closer to our room on a terrace.

After breakfast we set out to get a taxi. Baboucarr has done us a deal to get a Taxi for the whole week, but it is very expensive for him to come down to the hotel, so we have to walk up to the main road to meet him. Our first destination is the Kachikally Crocdile pool (On the way we pass, but sadly don’t notice in time to photograph, a roadside stall labelled “Birmingham Bull Ring Market”). The Crocodile pool is a “Spiritual place”, and the crocodiles are kept well fed on fish. The guides offer us a “Once in a lifetime” chance to stroke one, but we have seen to many nature documentaries, and fear any such encounter may turn out to be “once in a lifetime” for the obvious reasons…

From the crocodile pool we go to Banjul, the capital city where we meet up with Madi and Modoulamin, two of Baboucarr’s assistant leaders, who join us for the rest of the day. We go to be introduced to some of Baboucarr’s friends, including a policeman who is an ex-scout, then head for the market to negotiate the purchase of two sets of football strips (17 kits for each team, so as to include substitutes) – After much discussion (during which we discover we are dealing with more than one stallholder) we end up paying the equivalent of around £200 for 34 kits (shirts, shorts and socks), 2 sets of Goalkeeper gloves, 3 pairs of boots and shin-pads and a large kit bag to keep them all in. The negotiations are only interrupted by a brief scuffle a couple of stalls down, and by the break for prayers.

After the market we go to catch the Barra ferry to cross the Gambia and see the old British fort that guarded the mouth of the river, taking a late lunch of cake and Fanta on the voyage. On the way back we stop off in the Barra market to try the local green tea – a drink made with so much sugar it is more like a syrop!

Our final port of call is Baboucarr’s home compound in Serrekunda, where some more scouts are waiting to meet us. Some of them should have been at the hotel yesterday, but were involved in an accident on the way. Night falls while we are there, so we get an exciting night time ride back to the hotel. We are dropped off at the top of the road, and Baboucarr suddenly realises he has lost the envelope containing his hotel room key etc. It turns out Modou picked it up earlier, when it was left in the taxi, so he has to bring it over by motorbike. He arrives just as we are finishing our dinner, so he joins us in the restaurant.

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  1. […] Crocdile pool Gambia 2007 Read my diary of the trip here Feel Free to […]

  2. […] Kachikally Crocodile Pool Image by tim ellis Kachikally Crocdile pool Gambia 2007 Read my diary of the trip here […]


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