The Petite Cote to Gambia

I arrived in Joal on Sunday and walked the 1km or so to the twin village of Fadiout across a rather stunning wooden bridge that stretcehd perhaps half a km over the sands. Fadiout appears to be a historic Christian enclave, with the first pigs I’ve seen since leaving England.

That night’s meal turns out to be pretty ghastly: cold, dry, grey and unrefined couccous smeared onto a plastic plate together with flavourless sauce and the vestiges of meat. I had a drunk as a side order. On the whole the food in Senegal has been lovely. I mentioned saka saka last time, and since then have tried mafe, a seriously peanutty sauce for various stews, and thieboudieunne. ‘Thiou’ is a rich tomato based sauce to serve with rice and meat and stewed veg which reminded me of the basic sauces used for stews in Europe. There are 2 local lagers. Gazelle is cheap and pretty piss poor, but Flag has all the subtle tones and flavours you would expect of something Belgian.

The pillow that night was like the first volume of my parents’ Encyclopaedia Britannica. The mettled road runs out for the first time at Joal, and we followed a muddy road to Ndangane. There isn’t much in Ndangane, other than solitude, natural beauty, and birdlife; 3 things the petite cote is all about.

Yesterday was a bit of an epic with 7 different forms of transport over 7 hours taking me all the way around the Sine-Saloum delta to Toubacouta, no actually that far from Ndangane as the crow flies, or indeed Gambia, which I’ll tell you about next time!
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