I left my heart in Senegal


I recently had the pleasure of going on a work trip to Senegal, which was wonderful and amazing (and really hard work!). We spent a week in Dakar, and a week in Somone, and it was magical. I loved it, and would go back and live there in a shot!

It was fantastic to be forced to dredge up all my french and dust it off, and it made me realise how good it would be to live somewhere like Senegal for a while and get really fluent in French!

However, Iberia, the budget flight out there, left a lot to be desired, with no in-flight entertainment at all (not even a communal telly).

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Warm and stormy on arrival…

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1st view of the city at night

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Cold beer by the pool

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A wet and muggy walk on the beach – lots of red seaweed

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Dipping my toes in the Atlantic

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Lovely colourful boats

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And some goats, having a wee stroll on the beach…

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Dude washing his goat, as you do

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Hilarious doll – Scary and her car…

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I mis-read these and thought they were ninja princess dolls, which would have been awesome…

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Sunny morning rainbow over Ngor Island

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Documenting my hair starting to puff up in the humidity…

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Found out a cool thing about the hotel we were staying in – it was the finish line for the Paris-Dakar rally back in it’s glory days.

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Some of the stunning fabrics I bought at the market…

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And my gorgeous new silver Toureg-style necklace

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Gorgeous sunset over the pool

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Out for a lovely dinner at the rooftop bar

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The photo doesn’t do it justice but the sky was the most incredible shade of deep blue as the stars started to come out

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Chillin’ at the rooftop bar

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Enjoying la gazelle…

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Ok, this bit might be boring for some of you, but it’s my blog and I’ll post what I like! The hotel had these lovely big pictures on the walls – made of printed fabric stretched over canvas. The fabrics in West Africa are called “Wax” because of the printing technique they use.

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Another gorgeous sunny day in Dakar

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Slowly becoming Grug…

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Got my hat on, pretty excited for my day out on Goree Island…

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Entertaining my friend’s daughter on the boat trip over to the island…

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First glimpse of Goree Island – also known as Slave Island, as it was used as a holding area for transporting slaves out to the big ships

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So excited to discover that West Africa has henges too!! HENGE!!

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Diagram of a slave ship – I enjoyed discovering that they had an entire section of the ship just for biscuits…

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Some rather sad and sobering diagrams of how slaves were transported

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Cannons and stuff

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Wandering about on Goree…

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Baobab Tree…

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Groovy totem pole made of jerry can faces

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A very large and very old gun. We assumed it was from WW2, but were informed it is actually from 1907 apparently.

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Some pretty awesome sculptures

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The famous door at the slave house – slaves were taken out of this door, and stepped directly onto boats that were rowed out to the ships – they used to walk out of this door and disappear, never to be seen again.

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The Lord is my Shepherd written in pidgin

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All the locals were chilling out in the sea – it was so hot only mad dogs and englishmen were walking around sightseeing…

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Back on the mainland, we went to the western-most point of Africa to watch the sunset.

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Dinner out with some old friends and some amazing cerviche….

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On the bus headed for Somone for week 2…

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The amazing hotel resort we stayed at – it was something like the Royal Baobab Hotel in Somone and I must say it was FANTASTIC – beautiful location, incredible food, and super reasonable – only £85 a night, including all the food, (massive buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner!).

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Yeah, this’ll do nicely.

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Pretty excited to be here!

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That night a storm blew in from the sea really suddenly, and when I got back to my room, my hair was standing on end like someone had rubbed a balloon over it…

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Continuing the big hair issues….

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Sunset over the sea

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Just a few small purchases from the markets…

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Dancers at the show

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Spot of dancing with ma colleagues…

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Awesome team photo!

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Time for just a smidge more shopping…

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Watching the surfers do their thing

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Learning to play Settlers of Catan (and making a mini Woodhenge…)

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Sunday afternoon swim at the pool

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Sadly I lost my hat, so had to improvise some shade…

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Picking up my STUNNING new handbag – this was handmade for me by my new leather guy at the market…

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Heading home, with weird whitish-green hair (bleached out from the sun), hugging my fabulous new bag, and ready for some shut-eye with my neck pillow and panda mask…

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