Gambian Road Trip: Getting Home

We did have to wait a little while they unloaded the cows and scrubbed the ferry clean

Some of you have heard me mention the challenging ferry situation here.  The Gambia is a very interesting country, completely bisected by The Gambia River.  I live on the North Bank side of the river and the city with groceries, etc is on the South Bank side of the river.  Despite this river being almost 300 miles in length there are no bridges crossing it, but several ferries that go across.  Ordinarily, we cross at the nearest ferry crossing which takes you directly into Banjul (the capital of The Gambia).  From the guest house in the city to my home in the village is only about 40 miles.  However, those 40 miles can take a really, really long time and most of that time is spent waiting on the ferry.  A really quick trip home is 4-6 hours.  For the last two weeks there have been many issues with the ferries and people having been waiting to cross with cars and trucks for several days.  A teammate was needing to come home from vacation and went to Banjul on Monday only to find the line so long that she couldn’t even find the end of it.  Well, that is when we have to get creative and we decided to take a road trip together.  The road trip to another ferry crossing alone would have been very tough, a long drive and not very safe, but together we could do this and I like road trips.  So, on Thursday afternoon another teammate drove me to the ferry where I planned to walk across without a car.  Walking across is usually pretty quick, it is getting the car across which is challenging.  After waiting 4 ½ hours and watching one ferry arrive, unload and then pull away empty our ferry finally arrived.  7 hours later I had made the 40 mile journey and remember, this was going the quick way without a car.  Well, I enjoyed a day of rest, recovery and air conditioning before we tackled the “road trip” home.  Due to word of several ferry crossings being very busy and few ferries running we decided to go to a new spot and enjoy the day and a road trip.  Yes, we had some good tunes, air conditioning and good conversations.  No, we did not have fast food or many options for bathroom stops.  We drove approximately 400 miles in 9 hours and took a TINY boat across the river to make it the 40 miles (as the crow flies) home.  Yes, those numbers are correct.  So, next time you are stuck in commuter traffic think of me and my road trip home.  Glad to be here and did enjoy the adventure (except backing off the tiny ferry).  

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