September 07, 2004

Beaches in Dakar

My first experience on a beach in Senegal was picturesque and dangerous. This required walking through a maze of a village, all the while avoiding goats, burning grills and shrieking children. Well, after that eventful swim in a quite populated Dakarian beach (swimming in sewage water requires the artful skill of keeping one's mouth closed at all times and avoiding the floating sharp objects), it was time to try something new.

My friend was intent on starting with the less nice beach to the nicest so that I could be constantly amazed. We climbed into a huge SUV packed with a kite surf, a cooler containing 5 loaves of bread, two stunning girls (that includes me) and two strapping men. It was quite embarrassing to ask for directions as the villagers would oogle these "American tourists" with a packed car, blaring loud music and wallets overflowing with cash. I guess I should mention here that we were Swedish, South Africa, Czech, French and American.

The first beach was pleasant and we shared our bread with a lady and her two girls. They suddenly opened a jewelry and clothing stand and, true to our American nature, we had to buy buy buy. I was quite proud of myself because I was a tough bargainer although I was dealing with a rather shrewd (but cute) fourteen year old girl who kept on saying "let's chat, let's chat" when I rolled my eyes at the prices.

We visited a second and a third beach and saw an abandoned post office (with letters still waiting to be mailed), decaying bunkers on a hill, yellow green and red boats on the shore sheltering swift pale-yellow crabs, man-made hammocks, people on sand motorbikes, a kite surfer, loads of wild dogs and a young man almost drown. It would be an understatement to say that it was an eventful day.

Today I am having difficulties with writing this message as my sunburnt arms and puffy eyes are proving to be formidable opponents.

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