The post office was open this morning and there was a big pile of post for all of us. Another 10 letters and Christmas cards for me. It was great fun reading them all as we travelled. We set off to return to Dakar, planning to bring Maya to The Gambia in the next few days. Things started off well. The ferry was running, so we had no problem getting to the border. When we got there a Senegalese border guard told us that we needed a Visa to enter Senegal. We explained we had already been in Senegal and hadn’t been asked for one then. According to him the rules had changed, which seemed a bit unlikely in only a few days. We were about to return to Banjul to sort out the paperwork when the guard said he could sort it out for us and named a figure which was less than it would cost us to go back to Banjul and then come back to the border. We agreed and he walked off with our passports and money. We waited. Then waited some more. We started to worry. Eventually he came back and waved us through. The passports had no visa in them. We had either just bribed a border guard or more likely we had been conned. Either was not very palatable. Everything else went smoothly. All the buses were running and we got back to Dakar and back on board Maya. There we discovered that plans had changed again. More of that tomorrow.
14th January 1976 - Crossed paths
So when we got back we discovered that plans had changed again. First, Mike was still be indecisive, so Andy had decided to come across land to Banjul. Our paths must have crossed on the way somewhere. Second, Mike’s Vietnam friend had been in touch and had asked if he and his children could sail down to Banjul on Maya, a fairly short sail but it would be fun for them. So the good news is Mike is definitely taking Maya to The Gambia and we will sail up river. The bad news is that it will be a few more days before departure, and we still do not know what will happen after that. Andy is not aware of all this, so I will travel back to Banjul tomorrow and bring him up to date. I will probably stay there and wait for Maya to arrive.
15th January 1976 - Halfway back
Andy had found that you could go part of the way to Banjul by train, so I thought I would try that too. I boarded a train at Dakar and after a couple of hours I had to get off to change. The train I was supposed to change to had been cancelled and there wasn’t another one until the very early hours of the next day. I ate some of the food I had brought with me and found a nice bench in the station to sleep on for a few hours. It was too hot to get inside a sleeping bag, so I will just use it as a cover.