20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

Back of a taxi


Blue bird

Getting to Ziguinchor in the Southern Senegalese region of Casamance was a very un-african affair. We knew that it was a 4 phase journey so left the hotel early where a minibus to Serakunda arrived almost immediately. This dropped us at the bus park there where a minibus to Brikama was just about to leave but didn't have enough places for us. Not to worry, the next one arrived in less than 10 minutes and we were off on part 2. At Brikama we had to change to a Bush taxi, my first proper African Peugeot 504 taxi. This ancient wreck to us by a very convoluted route of dirt tracks and back streets (I suspect it didn't have paperwork) to the Border with Senegal where formalities on both sides were quickly conducted. The Senegalese Customs searched our bags and I thought I was going to lose some cigarettes when he found my carton but he was looking for painkillers for a backache. I told him that I wasn't a doctor and we were on our way. At the bus park on the other side of the border an infuriating arguement over prices for taxis and minibusses ensued, Sun obviously wanting to take the cheapest however long it was going to take. Common sense prevailed and we took the taxi which had 3 places remaining so left straight away. Half way to Zig the person in the front seat got out so an old guy from the middle row of seats moved to the front, the driver told him to put the seatbelt on and I ended up in fits of laughter as I watched him tie himself in knots with the belt ending up with his head stuck trough it. Everyone else realise what I was laughing at and the poor old guy nearly died of embarrassment. I felt sorry for him, it was quite possibly the first time he'd been in a car or even out of his home town. An hour later, 4 hours in total we were in Zig.

The best thing I can say about Zig was that the hotel where we stayed (I took the 8000 room, they shared the 5000 cupboard) had a lovely garden with a huge tree teeming with tropical birds. Under the tree they had a small seating area and a TV, along with very cheap beer this provided an excellent place to watch the quarter finals of The African Cup of nations. Internet access in town was also reasonable and I came within a whisker of getting this up to date but failed to get the text bits done. Other than that it was another dusty african town with nothing to see and poor food options.

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