Friday, May 13, 2011

Gambia River

Banjul, Gambia
10 May 2011

Today we hired a boat to show us the most dominant feature in the country- the Gambia River. First we rocketed out into the open sea to troll for barracuda in the dual engined speed boat, bouncing over waves so high that the propellers were out of the water. Then we motored up the river for 45 mins to Juffare, a village on the river where Alex Haley traced his Roots. There isn't much to the village, besides a small museum that talks about slavery and the ruins of a couple old buildings (chapel and storehouse). There is also the Kinte family house with some relatives but they weren't around the day we visited.

After the village we followed the route of the captured slaves to James Island, a former British fort where slaves were held for transport to Goree Island in Dakar, and then on to the new world. The island is slowly eroding into the river and all that remains are a few crumbling walls and large baobab trees.

On our way back to Banjul we stopped and tried our luck fishing first off Dog Island, then a couple other places but only caught 1 small (10 inch) silvery fish. At the end our boat captain took us on a shortcut slaloming through the mangroves to another spot where we caught a red snapper and a trout.

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