I reached Dakar at the very early hours of Saturday morning after a four hour flight from Lisbon and although the airport procedures didn't take long as I was only carrying a backpack the moment I got to the hotel (?) I had booked through the Internet I felt time was not on my side anymore. I had a strong urge to leave soon after I set my feet into what I would rather call a pension, where I found myself as the only guest, not to mention other small issues that made me feel rather uncomfortable.
I somehow managed to doze off for a couple of hours and was up by around six wondering if the rest of my experience in Senegal, where I would be staying for just two days, would be any better than it had been so far.
I walked onto the yard right in front of the room, overlooking one part of the Yoff area where the hotel (?) was located and wasn't too shocked by what I could actually see, what seemed to be disturbing me was the fact that despite having been to Africa before I hadn't realised to which extent being on my own could be misinterpreted (as it already had) bearing in mind the number of foreign women looking for something that certainly wasn't associated to the culture of the country they were visiting.
I just had a cup of tea for breakfast, as I quietly waited for the guide to collect me and get me out of there.
Aly was on time and proved to be a gentleman right from the first moment, which brought about a different tone to what I had experienced so far. We soon found ourselves at the Maritime port sailing off on an overloaded ferry going across to Gorée, my first tourist stop.
It took twenty five minutes to go across what ended up being my first contact with rather interesting people besides the guide. The island is often visited by school children coming from all over Senegal, as part of their compulsory school visits.
There was a light breeze as we approached the island but I could clearly feel it would be a warm day. I was really looking forward to visiting the UNESCO designated island, which I had had an interest on for quite a while, particularly after having read about the slavery trade and the role the island played in the whole process.
The island looked quite small though quite charming from a distance as the first colourful houses and fishing boats came into sight.
(To be continued)