After 12 hours and 180 miles across land Anthony and I have finally made it to The Gambia. We left Dakar at 10:30 am with the intention of hitch-hiking to Kaolack, a large town on the way to Banjul. After 2 hours and one very short lift we got a bus which cost 500 francs, about £1.25, to Kaolack, a distance of about 130 miles. The bus started off almost empty and gradually got very full. We were the only two white people on board and I seemed to end up surrounded by women breast-feeding their babies. After about a third of the way we had to change to a smaller bus which started off very crowded again and just as it started getting empty we had to change to the next size down, which took us right into Kaolack. There we bumped into an American we had met before and he decided to come to Gambia with us. There were no buses so we had to get a taxi to the border. The driver asked for 600 francs per head, but we knocked him down to 1000 for all three of us, quite a saving. The taxi broke down three times on the way and we finally got to the border at 9pm. Our American friend then had to turn back, it seems Americans require a visa for The Gambia. To get to Banjul you have to cross an 8 mile stretch of the Gambia river, but the last ferry was at 9pm. Apparently there is a football festival going on and the Mauritanian team, plus supporters, were also stuck on the wrong side of the river. They hired something that looked like an out-size dug-out canoe to cross the river. We managed to get a lift with them, arriving in Banjul at about 10:30pm.
Today is a public holiday here, so everywhere is shut. While waiting for the ferry last night we got talking to a man who turned out to be the Chief Postman here. He has to work today and he promised to sort out our mail, if any. When we went to the post office, there was quite a large pile of Poste Restante letters, which, upon being sorted through, yielded only one letter for me, one for Andy, and none for anyone else. This was quite disappointing until we discovered that that was only the mail that had come in that day. As the post office is officially closed today we shall have to wait until tomorrow to find anymore.