Monday, July 19, 2010

Going to St Louis

Today I finally got out if Dakar to see some more of the country. It felt good to break away from all the buildings and crowds and the countryside is beautiful. There hadn't been a lot of rain but most of the scenery was green.

The worst traffic was just outside of Dakar where we were reduced to a lane of traffic going in opposite directions (from 3 lanes). Road construction slowed us even more, giving the street vendors ample opportunity to sell there wares. If you showed interest in an item they would walk along your car for kilometers. Almost anything you wanted could be bought along the road.

Once we broke free from the rolling walmart the road opened us and was smooth and in excellent condition. In every little village along the road there were several fruit or other kind of stands. Lots of mangos were on sale today, as well as freshly butchered meat hanging in the little roadside huts.

When we finally got to St Louis (4 hour drive) we found the bridge to the islands was restricted to one way traffic. After a twenty minute wait we made our way over the rickety, patchwork iron bridge into supposedly one of the nicest and most historic places in Senegal.

Lonely planet had a great review of the location with lots of pictures of clean streets and restored colonial buildings. What we found was nothing as described. It must have been several years since the last review because the islands were crammed full of rough brick huts and overflowing with people and trash.

I think the most disappointing part was discovering that there was no surf. The beach was also sprinkled with little purple jellyfish with long stingers. A local fisherman said the only time the waves were big was in the winter from December to March- then he asked for 2000 CFAs "to help feed his 3 kids.". Maybe I'll come back then...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Quai Henni Jay,Saint-Louis,Sénégal


  1. I'm sorry it has turned out to be a disappointment. Maybe you can send in a correction to Lonely Planet and save anyone else from being misguided as well ;)

  2. my apologies to Lonely Planet. I reread the section on St Louis last night and it was as described. I think i was bummed because there were no waves.