Saturday, June 28, 2008


Weather---In the press !!!!!!!!!

The “weather”, in the UK, is very very disappointing, for the time of year?? (something to do with a weather system, around the Azores in the Atlantic ??).
So its been a “NO-GO” for me to go out on my trike, just having to go to the gym and, for swimming, I go to Llety Cynin
Went down to Towy Boat Club , to see if there were any improvements, on the “Sailing front” – NO CHANGE—
In the Carmarthen Journal this week, another “Towy River Festivity”, has been put off

An item that has been published, RYA Sailability (newsletter FOGHORN) has my sailing exploits in (from last summer) (page 8)
I thought that “watersports, in Gambia”, were NOT available, but this is what I saw, , at the hotel !!!
So, I have had chance, to upload some travel reviews (and a photo album, to holidays Revealed
And more photos to flickr

I wonder, if there are any comments, regarding my impression (with photos) of Sulayman Junkung Hospital, Bwiam, Gambia.
As I have said before, prior, to my trip, investigations, from media sources, and the internet, GOOGLE EARTH, Power up Gambia, etc, where “painting” a picture of a HOSPITAL.
I have been assured, by PUG , that the main part of the hospital, is towards the main gate ???.

As, a result, of an email, of POSITIVENESS”, sent to some Ataxian friends, I have been requested to copy it to, the ATAXIA UK, discussion board

Now, Going out on my trike, with waterproof clothes, afterall, it IS summer.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


GMT - Gambian MAYBE Time

Trying to adjust to a busy schedule, while still, in GAMBIAN “MAYBE” TIME !!!!!.

During the time, back home
Have managed to go out on my trike (in-between, the very changeable British weather, what was all the GALES and HEAVY RAIN. all about, on Wednesday 18-6-08 ????)( and today, 21-6-08??), what happened to SUMMER??.

Swimming, at Llety Cynin
Attended many meetings, in the community

Had an article, in the Carmarthen Journal and the Community News regarding my POSITIVE attitude and Coleshill Social Centre

Plus, putting together, many, reports on my “adventure”, to submit to various websites, which brings back wonderful memories.

I have mentioned, before, about the lack of water sports, in Gambia. To my surprise, a poster, on display, in the Kairaba Hotel , to advertise Gambia Water Sports, at Denton Bridge, Banjul – the only water sports in Gambia !! (I think, unless I am corrected).

Another fond memory, is getting, the hire car, stuck, in mud, in the Middle of Kanilia Game Park, where there is NO mobile phone service, so the ranger had to walk back, to the entry gate, to get assistance (tractor, to tow us out !) this was in the very open bush, of the Game Park, Funny at the time, but a fairly dangerous place to be !!!!.
Looking trough all the photos (that will be uploaded to Flickr , ASAP) we remember all the people we met.
Lamins family (in Old Jeshwang) and Nadindin`s family (in Soma).
Friends, who we drank ATTAYA (China Green Tea) and spent time with.

Friends, Immigration Officers (who we gave lifts to, and during our time where like having “personal Body Guards” ( funny moments, where when we were visiting places and the officers, in full uniform, were with us, and peoples “looks” were as if HE was “ESCORTING us “OUT OF THE COUNTRY” Police Officers (in Janjanbureh) with who we drank ATTAYA, and had meals with.

The, Hospital, I referred to, Salayman Junkung General Hospital, Bwiam, was an experience!!!!
We were booked to stay at Bwiam Lodge, but as the International ROOTS Festival , was taking place, nearby in Kanilia, all accommodation in the area had been commandeered, by “higher authorities??? (weather you had had the booking confirmed, or not). Management, re-arranged accommodation, and was made available at the Sulayman Junkung General Hospital !!!!!.
In the travel, information books, it relates the image that the property has had some form of investment. On first impression this seems to be incorrect, but as the property occupies a huge plot of land, I am assured that the main part of the Hospital is functioning to a good standard.
PUG has been to SJGH recently, to help out.
In all, not my favourite accommodation, (BASIC, NO water or Electric, but it was a room (see Tripadvisor )
And my previous booking was re-located (in a Gambian way of thinking !!!).
All this ADDS to the ADVENTURE.

Journey`s, on ferries, were a true experience.
1. Banjul to Barra.
Main ferry, over The Gambia River. Very very very chaotic and busy. Relay`s of three, boats 1 large, 2 smaller all carrying vehicles and foot passengers.
2. Bambatenda to Yelitenda
Slightly smaller boats, to get across, the river, to the South Bank, or in our case, Soma.
3. Lamin Koto to Janjanbureh.
Smaller ferry, over to Janjanbureh island, (just a few cars and passengers). Only a few minutes, per crossing.
South, of Janjanbureh, is a smaller ferry, (one lorry, or two cars, at a time and powered by pulling a rope across the river. Passengers can also cross to Janjanbureh by rowing boat.

On this trip, we have seen more things and experienced so many things. It makes you realize, how easy we live, in the UK.

Will we go back, to The Gambia,??? DEFINATLY (browsing travel brochures, in our HAT and COAT !!!).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


June Adventure to Gambia, to attend the ROOTS Festival

A very AMAZING and EXCITING trip to The Gambia.

This is a very brief description of the adventure, I will be reviewing things, in greater detail, elsewhere, which I will link to at a later time. Mainly

Flew from Gatwick, Friday May 31st. (all Monach Flights were delayed, so our flight was 3 hours late).
Flight 6 hours.landing, in the dark, at Banjul International Airport.
Coach transfer, to the hotel KAIRABA, Senegambia
Attended the opening ceremony of the Roots Festival, in Banjul.
To my amazement I heard a shout ALAN-ALAN-ALAN, it was a friend who we met in Gambia, during our stay in January !!!
Next day, the trip started, North to Banjul, catch (caotic)the Ferry, over to Barra. Along the road (approx 180Km) to Farafenni, turn South to Soma. To get to Soma you need to catch the ferry, across.

We stayed overnight at the “very Basic” Moses Guest House.
Morning trip to the ferry, up to Farafenni, follow the “Dusty” road East to Wassu Stone circles (historical place). Then East along to another (very small, 1 lorry or a few cars, at a time) ferry, across to Janjanbureh.
Janjanbureh, (300Km from Banjul), Lunch and drinks, at the Police HQ!!.
Stay overnight at Janjanbureh Lodge (across the river, but the lodge supplies the boat trip. A very nice “ECO-LODGE” no electric, no hot water.
Back over to Janjanbureh, for morning drinks with Police staff.
Travel back West (via the small ferry) to Kerewan, turning off the tarmac!! (dusty and rough) going South West to Juffureh to visit the Museum of the Slave trade and on to see James Island.
(to witness the conditions imposed on the slaves, makes me ashamed that we could DO this to fellow mankind).
Return to Senegambia via Barra –ferry- Banjul.
Recharge, showers (lots of)good nights sleep (until awoke to the rain), rain and wind, STORM (first of the season) and I mean rain, 1 months winter rain in a few hours!!. Next morning the only sign of rain was some puddles.
Today, we travelled East, on the South of the river Gambia, to Kanalai, the home of the President and to attend the Roots celebration / ceremony. While in Kanalai, we visited the Game Park and Zoo, it was here, in the middle of the bush, that our guide got the car stuck in the mud !!! this was a “signal-less mobile phone” area, so the park guide had to walk to the gate and get help. A tractor came to our rescue.
After seeing the park, we headed to Bwiam Lodge to stay the night, only to be told it was fully booked, even though it was booked for us 2 months ago!! (apparently a large booking (from government acquaintances, was accepted). A short trip to see the manager who fixed us up with a room , at a local HOSPITAL!!
Basic, but OK for 1 night (and the Hospital was FULLY booked, due to the demand, of the Festival).
That night we went to the Roots Festival, in Kanalai.
Next day we travelled back to Kairaba Hotel, Senegambia, for rest and showers.
Before leaving, for the airport, we went to Banjul Market, for some shopping, (think of “shopping chaos and multiply it by 10).

We went to our guides (Lamin Fatty) for lunch, which his family had prepared for us. Gifts where accepted, by them (which we had taken over) before saying our goodbyes.

At the airport, it was cool (it was evening) and a SAD occasion as we had to say farewell to Lamin, who has been an excellent guide plus a very special friend (he has been promoted to Senior Ground Staff for Gambian International Airport, WOOHOO Lamin).

We will be returning soon…………

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