Similar to “The Bahamas,” I learned that Gambia is, in fact, correctly called “The Gambia.” It is a tiny sliver of a country that’s actually within Senegal geographically. While Senegal was colonized by France, The Gambia was colonized by Britain. As a result, the language there is English. However, the natives communicated in a version of Wolof that was actually different from the Senegalese version of the language.
Fortunately, Joli had friends who made the drive from The Gambia to Senegal to pick us up and show us around! They helped to smooth over every aspect of our visit and that was really lovely.
What I most remember about the journey to the Gambia was first that it took seven hours (we originally thought it would be 3). The car was without air conditioning…which was fine for the cooler areas. But when we hit warm, dusty patches of the drive, I was challenged haha Still, it was interesting to see the landscape and have a peak into the lives of some of the smaller, more rural, towns of Senegal.
Once in The Gambia, all I could think about was showing and getting a massage haha After learning that the hotel across the street from our original hotel had a spa, I was on a bit of a mission to transfer haha! Fortunately, Joli was on board with the move! What followed was a relaxing day for me on the beautiful hotel grounds…with lots of time spent at the spa! The massage was also great. Though our friends were lovely, and kindly took us around the city, the downtime and massage were what I really needed. Since we were only in The Gambia for a day, we also decided to fly back to Senegal haha! I think the journey is best told in pictures, so I’ll share some below ;)
We had another night in Senegal before we left (the party night), and finished the trip with flair! Definitely a trip for the books! Special thanks to my bela Joli for letting me tag along and for putting up with my high maintenance requests haha! Every night, we laughed our way to tears as we recounted the adventures and wondered how in the world two America women like us who appreciate comfort and nice things ended up living in Africa of all places! haha! Many parts of developing countries do not have the “creature comforts”that we’re used to in the Western world, but the charm, beauty, and simplicity makes up for a lot of what one might feel is missing.
Traveling to mainland Africa was an experience…and it definitely made me appreciate my beautiful little island of Santo Antao even more! The beauty, peace, and simplicity of the island definitely fits my chill vibe. But, perhaps since I am a Gemini, I do appreciate the upbeat city life from time to time as well ;)
Main photo: Walking down to the beach from the spa at the resort in The Gambia (Coco Ocean Resort and Spa).