To make a long story short, I ended up in Dakar, Senegal for a day and a half by mistake when the flight I was booked on from Dakar, which was a connection from Mauritania to the Cape Verde Islands, was apparently non existant. I am still unclear about who’s fault it actually is but what can you do? So Air Senegal in all their infinite wisdom sort of booked me on the flight today which was a whole other ordeal I won’t get into but the simple fact is that I am now in Cape Verde and loving life but Dakar actually wasn’t too bad. If you have to get stuck somewhere in West Africa, it wasn’t that bad a place to be stuck.
I ended up staying at the Le Meridien Hotel in Dakar (picture above), right on the ocean, which is supposed to be the best hotel in West Africa and I would have to agree, it was pretty nice and even had a ping pong table which is always a plus in my book. Aside from the hotel the city was really nice, especially by African standards. I had a great dinner last night at a place called La Boheme which was right downtown-they did a killer steak au poivre. After catching up, sort of, on sleep from the long journey to get here I checked out Ile de Goree which was the original slave island where the slaves would be sold to the Americas and to Europe. The whole island was a pretty surreal experience as they are now beautifying and glorifying what was once a treacherous place where thousands of families ultimately met their demise. But it was a beautiful place and the streets are still carless and the views are stunning. The beach is still crowded and it’s only 20 minutes by boat from Dakar.
Dakar itself is a breath of fresh air in West Africa and by far the biggest city. It has everything you need and has a very wealthy and beautiful side of the city. It is still Africa and the poverty is still very apparent but there are many escapes to be had in the city and it is also very safe. The French influence looms large and I have met a ton of French tourists. I assume the only tourists I will meet in West Africa will be French but you never know. Anyway, I am starving and going for some food and some sleep before a day at the beach tomorrow on Santiago Island!