Footsteps Ecolodge consists of 9 detached round houses (traditional construction) that are located around an eco-pool and are equipped with a compost toilet. In the three weeks that I have been in The Gambia, I have only been able to take a hot shower here. What a luxury!
I was so enthusiastic about this place that I was immediately able to convince Frosch Sportreisen to organize yoga holidays here. More about this in another blog.
The next day, David and Linda took me on a 2-hour beach walk to the Rainbow Beach Bar in Sanyang. There I swam and had a wonderful lunch. David and Linda took a taxi back, but I also walked back across the beach. I have walked on the beach for hours in these days: the sun, the sea, a cooling breeze and just walking… the head is completely empty… pure enjoyment!
After the walk I took a refreshing bath in the eco-pool.
In the yogashala of Footsteps Ecolodge I gave a yoga class the next morning and then it was already time to go to my next location: Bendula Lodge in Batokunku, run by a German woman. It was a simple lodge (befitting my budget) and about a 10 minute walk from the beach. But what a beautiful, unspoilt beach! I know that further north there are the tourist attractions in terms of hotels and beach bars. I avoided that. Give me these quiet beaches with small-scale atmospheric beach bars, friendly staff and a personal approach.
The next day a visit to the Tanji Village Museum was on the program and I was waiting on the side of the road for a bus. Instead, I got a ride from a sympathetic Norwegian and his wife. The heart of the various exhibits in the museum is the reconstruction of a traditional Mandinka settlement, which shows how people lived here more than 100 years ago.
Within walking distance of the museum is Mama Africa, an art gallery. The owner, who is also an artist herself, collects different types of art from all over Africa here. I was delighted by the colorful paintings of the owner herself, whom I also ran into.
Through Facebook I came into contact last summer with a Dutch woman who lives in The Gambia and is married to a Gambian. We had agreed to meet. We went out for a day, together with a friend of hers. During our lunch at the Ocean Blue Beach Bar he sang and drummed especially for me. The song was about Mariama, my Gambian name. He even invited me to play drums with him.
During my last 2 days in The Gambia I spent a whole morning doing a PCR test: first you stand in line for registration and then you stand in the same line for the test. Waiting for the results the next day was nerve-wracking. When the (negative) result was in, I could finally relax on the beach.
In the evening I was picked up by Abdou, the taxi driver, who took me to the airport. Due to several flight cancellations, I did not have good connections and I ended up being on the road for 36 hours before I was back home on Samos.
There I found the dog Daisy and the cats in excellent condition. Fortunately, my sitters had taken good care of them.