Senegal – the full of contrasts Saint Louis

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Senegal, Lompoul desert, traveling, selfie, bedouins, camel, ride
Selfie with a camel

 

We haven’t finished with the Lompoul desert romance yet

Bedouins wake up and climb barefoot to the “breakfast diner” (last night it was the dinner hall and all the time it’s a tent). After a hearty breakfast (sorry, camels) and before the final use of the tent built-in toilet, we are loaded on three cute camels. A skillful and slightly lazy cameleer is leading them through the dunes.

Going uphill is good for us, downhill – for the camels. Romance is not over as the night passed, it will continue until there is sand in the desert.

Our horses in the steppe are camels in the dunes. After a shaky getting off them, we rest in hammocks before our final 5-kilometer drive to the “civilization.”

Senegal, Lompoul desert, traveling, selfie, bedouins, camel, ride

Senegal, Lompoul desert, traveling, selfie, bedouins, camel, ride

All the way to the border with Mauritania

We are heading north to St. Louis (Saint Louis). We are now a step away from the border with Mauritania – but will not go there. St. Louis has something to entertain us – a town full of history, with three different sections, a river and an ocean, with endless activities and never-stopping trade.

In one part of the city live fishermen, the second is for the administration and for the rich ones, the third is where trade is done and together with salesmen the madness of life is happening. We pass along the aroma of fish and carrion. I remember Mombasa – the oceanfront craziness and trade.

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset

Our city tour begins with a horse carriage. We are moving through narrow and wide streets, we pass shops, homes, schools, military buildings. At one point you see boys loading boats, up to their waist in the river, surrounded by junk. In another moment a group of students giggles in the shade. In another moment carts and horses take advantage of you.

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Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage
Our carriage awaits us

Saint Louis carriage tour

In the homes of merchants doors remained wider like in old days, the whole family is out on the sidewalk because they do not fit in the home. Generally the sidewalk has the space for everything – chickens, children, sellers of anything, mothers, fathers, priests, pigs. Voices and noise from all the above fill the air, and we do not know where to look. How can we listen to the guide? And he has interesting stories – about the former president of France, Jacques Chirac, having a childhood friend here so he built a bridge for him, about the boat race, about education and how after going to school girls did stop being fine with polygamy. After the dynamic images and stories we pass by, it’s hard to listen to the guide.

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage
Citizens of Saint Louis – a pelican walking freely on the streets

 

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage
The shade is limited so everyone is fighting for it

 

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage
Beautiful and at the same time stinky experience

 

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage

We go into a quiet neighborhood with a few schools. In the shadows of the empty streets we see a white boy bullying a black boy with smaller dimensions and other black boy larger than both just watching for fun… Someday races will exist together in perfect understanding and unity, as currently in Senegal different religions live together in peace and love. There are 90% Muslims and 10% Christians in the country, there are villages with the opposite ratio, but in any case they show respect and understanding. It’s a common sight a mosque standing next to a cathedral.

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage
Everything could be used as a toy or a playground

 

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage
There is something worth a look around those boats, what is it?

 

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage
You can never get bored on the streets of Saint Louis

Sunset over the ocean

After the strong and contrasting emotions of San Louis in the afternoon we spend the evening in a nice hotel with a large garden and swimming pool, by the ocean. The waves help us give up the idea of swimming, but the beach is wide enough (30 meters at least) for everyone, deserted though. Unfortunately we notice more junk than we can bear.

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I guess they’ll have to learn about the bins and how to use them, we will share our observation with our guides Ali and Tafa. Now it may not be easy to find a trash bin, bit things will change and people will be educated where to throw out their litter. We believe it.

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage

Senegal, Saint Louis, fishermen, bridge, river, boats, kids, streets, garbage, dirty, beaches, sunset, carriage

A deserted beach on the Atlantic coast sends us back to a romantic sunset by the water, and the bright orange sun, and two three boats bobbing on the horizon.

It’s time for another dinner with seafood and fish, but let’s not forget the traditional appetizer of delicious Senegalese peanuts and Gazelle.

Mosquitoes don’t forget to greet us welcome, again. And this is just the dry season…

Stay with us on the next day, when we’ll visit the kingdom of birds in Senegal and a few more beautiful beaches!

 

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8 Responses

  1. Halley Wright
    | Reply

    What an experience y’all had! I’ve always wanted to ride a camel, but it’s slightly intimidating. I’m afraid I’d fall off haha!

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Yes, camel riding could be adventurous – but as soon as it stands up with you on it – there’s no chance that you fall, or at least if you fall the sand is so soft 🙂
      We had no issues, except for the lazy cameleer 🙂

  2. Kevin Wagar
    | Reply

    Truly a day filled with incredible views and unforgettable memories!

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Thank you! Our whole trip was fantastic! We love Senegal and the fact that it is so less visited 🙂

  3. This sounds and looks like a fantastic place to visit!

  4. Maria
    | Reply

    Hi Bistra! Your post reminded me my experience in Cabo Verde. There the children build their own toys from scrap and they made beautiful things. I was amazed and touched by it!

    • Bistra Yakimova
      | Reply

      Hi Maria! Cabo Verde is getting higher and higher in my bucket list! Children are so touching and cute when they have the opportunity to be creative and make their own toys. Of course some might call this challenging or bad lack, but I think it’s their smiles that matter the most after all 🙂

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