A goodbye to remember from Saint Louis
The magic of being geographically located by the ocean and by the river. Sunset – over the ocean. Sunrise – over the river.
The orange sun greets us and rises quickly. We race through the fishermen sector with a whiff of carrion and head outside St. Louis. We leave the three-faced city life (rich, fishermen and traders) to take dirt roads (in this case red-colored) to a kingdom of birds named Djoudj Sanctuary. After shaking on the red roads and several encounters with smiling wild boars, we arrive at an improvised port.
Peacefulness and busyness of Djoudj bird sanctuary
We get on board a boat along with other toubabs (tou bab – a white man, more on that later). We point the cameras to the little islands on the lake, where a variety of bird species are strolling.
Only the trained eye of an ornithologist would realize the impressive variety of flying fauna. We notice the larger species – cormorants and pelicans. And countless water lilies floating on the surface of the lake.
The view that leaves us without words is a colony of dozens of pelicans, caught up in daily activities and sitting closely next to each other. Some rise in formations in the air, others just stand and are beautiful. There is something charming about so many creations of nature, all being at one small space at the same time.
Looking for “normal” lunch
It’s getting hotter and we decide to head south. Day brings us a long journey from the north of Senegal and down south after Dakar. In many villages, with or without shade, life does not stop.
Beautiful Senegalese women with elongated necks and graceful presence carry large baskets, bowls and other goods on their heads. The markets are full of seasonal melons (which are monochrome green), and other gifts of the Earth.
The air conditioning in the car helps us almost not feel how hot it is outside – 38 degrees Celsius. We try to stop at a village for lunch – only Senegalese cuisine. Today, we have restless stomachs (read – light diarrhea) and decide to abstain from fish cuisine. Do not get us wrong – it’s very delicious and fresh, but we are not used to eating fish twice a day. So with every village we pass, we get more and more hope to get to the city where we will eventually have some choice for food.
Eventually we reach a town and get directions to the first “western” place for food. We order basil pasta and we’re happy with this simply but delicious choice.
Nace is even able to talk with the workers in the toilet in pure Bulgarian ( “can I go wash my hands?” and they moved so he can get to the sink). It’s time to proceed to the town of Mbor (Mbour). There the cute ecological Casa Verde is waiting for us – a two-floor African hut with a spiral staircase inside.
Going south – destination Mbour
From the local language Wolof tou bab means white man. Although you can never know whether it’s used in a positive or negative sense – we are starting to get used to be called like this. Children are the most expressive and often run after us and shout “tubab, tubab” sometimes it evolves to “tubib, tubib.” And yet we don’t know that soon we would start to call each other so. We use it, of course, in a positive sense, playfully. We do not want to discriminate on racial, so we avoid lines like “to eat as tubabs finally”. It’s easy to spot the everyday language racist stereotypes in places where you are a minority.
We’re back to the beach, only this time a lot happens on the beach. Mbor men do many sports, so every three seconds you can see someone running, exercising, or working out in front of your eyes. Any type of strength and endurance training is done on the beach.
Still you can spot some pieces of litter on the sand, but the sport spirit kind of compensates a little. At sunset we hear percussion instruments playing on the beach in groups.
Another typical activity is the wrestling, as the Senegalese love this sport. While we are monitoring the beach sport life, we are monitored by several saleswomen with bracelets and scarfs of every shape and color. Luckily they receive some attention by a group of elderly French men, apparently the language of love is French indeed.
What would you do if you lived next to the beach? It looks great for sports, relaxations, romance, walks, what else?
Stay with us! Tomorrow we continue with Senegalese arts and tranquility…
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