Exploring Senegal

Prior to reaching West Africa, we received a number of warnings from Oceania such as don’t wear jewelry, don’t wear patriotic clothing, don’t keep wallets in back pockets, etc. and to expect delays, no air conditioning on the buses, infrequent rest rooms, rest rooms not to our standards, etc. This was all followed up with the slogan, “Be an explorer, not a tourist”. Consequently, on Saturday we set out to explore our first West African country, Senegal. Our port was the capital, Dakar. Our tour was to take a bus to the Pink Lake, take a four wheel drive around the dunes at the lake, have lunch, visit a market, and visit a village for a cultural performance.

As warned the night before, the immigration people were late arriving and we left for our tour about fifty minutes late. The good news though was that the bus was air conditioned. The weather was sunny with temperatures in the high 70’s with low humidity, so the air conditioning wasn’t vital.

This was our four wheel drive vehicle at the lake. You enter by the stairs at the rear. This is proof the right rear tire was inflated when we started. It was flat when we returned.
This is the front seat and dashboard. The truck stalled twice and both times they had to lift the hood and add gas to the carburetor.
At our first stop, vendors with baskets on their head approached our truck. This one wanted a dollar to have her picture taken and she threw in a bracelet as a bonus.
As you can see, the Pink Lake is not pink as advertised. We were told that it turns pink in warmer weather.
We then drove through the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean.
It was a wide Sandy beach with heavy waves. We took a spin through the incoming tide.
We stopped to explore the beach. It wasn’t Ipanema, so Susan stayed in the truck. The vendors had run about half a mile to catch up. They were smart and placed there wares right in front of Susan, and quickly made a sale at 20% of the initial asking price. She loves to negotiate!
We had lunch at a resort and were entertained by this man with a unique musical instrument. He played it by plucking the strings. He did not use the mallet he is holding.
On the bus ride through town we passed several markets.
There were a large number of horse or donkey drawn wagons on the road. This picture was taken at a town square same distance from central Dakar.
We stopped at a “village” where we were welcomed by the village chief and treated to a cultural performance by four men and four women from the village. The group shown above provided the music which was amplified on a very loud PA system. The village was really a side street with plastic chairs on both sides for us to sit on.
The men had painted faces and were dressed in elaborate and colorful attire.
The program included fire eating.
Most of the women in the country were dressed colorfully. The dancers were no exception.
She was just passing through the street.
The residents of the village gathered at the end of the street to enjoy the show also.
Some children watched from the rooftop. Somehow, we never got to the market. We particularly enjoyed the performance in the village.

3 thoughts on “Exploring Senegal”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *