The return to Senegal was somewhat less traumatic than my journey to England. My luggage arrived, everything went smoothly, fewer body searches and I enjoyed a nice bottle of rijoca at the airport in Barcelona. When the door opened in Banjul, the cool air started steaming and we were hit by a damp warm wall as we emerged into the tropical night.
Unusually for me, I was first through customs without even trying (I just happened to be last onto the first bus, meaning I was first off). My driver, Omar, was waiting along with my pal Bert who’d been in town to sort his residency papers. For the first time in three weeks I didn’t feel scared with the speed of traffic (a slightly odd side effect I felt in UK after a long time away). It was late, so we stayed with my pal Kunte Kinte, allegedly one of Alex Hailey’s relatives.
The next morning the heavens opened and Kermit had a flat tyre, so we left later than planned. Along the way, I tried out the video function on my new camera – for the past 18 months, all of my photography has taken place using a broken camera, so I’m hoping to improve a bit with something that works. Here’s some edited highlights of the trip back…what I missed was Omar jumping out and chasing an Abyssinian Ground Hornbill across a meadow- a one meter tall walking bird that is thought to be evil in Diola culture and thus must always be chased.
Chasing Hornbills: a potential title for the sequel to my forthcoming book?