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Om 7.30 uur rijden we langs het Lac Rosé. Bespaar je de moeite als je in de buurt bent, want roze is het niet en het lijkt nog het meeste op een zandwinningsplas. Nu we er toch zijn rijden we eerst maar eens naar Dakar. Deze miljoenenstad ligt op een schiereiland en via een Frans aandoende autosnelweg (inclusief péage en file) rijden we die kant op en nemen we een kijkje. Maar niet te lang, want we willen op tijd in Gambia zijn. Daarom rijden we snel door via M’Bour en Kaolack naar de grenspost bij Karang.

Onderweg kopen we nog brood voor een ontbijtje in de bus (7 stokbroden voor 15 cent per stuk), zien onderweg het drukke dagelijkse leven in de plaatsjes, horen hier en daar gebedsoproepen en om iets over 14 uur staan we bij de grens. Dan begint het gebruikelijke gedoe bij douane en grenspolitie weer. Senegal uit gaat vrij soepel, Gambia in is weer een geworstel. Eerst douane, dan de politie (erg vriendelijk), uitgebreide controle in de bus waar alle persoonlijke spullen worden nagekeken. Als we dan eindelijk de stempels hebben en denken dat we klaar zijn komt er als een duveltje uit een doosje nog narcotica-controle door twee mannen in burger. Dit riekt naar bedrog, ze hebben wel pasjes, maar die kunnen wij ook wel maken op een kopieerapparaat. Alle toiletspullen en onze kledingtassen worden nog eens uitgebreid bekeken, maar uiteindelijk is alles akkoord. We komen weer ergens in een groot boek te staan met onze paspoortnummers en dan kunnen we door. We hebben niets betaald en ze zijn er niet beter van geworden. Misschien dan toch een officiële controle? Hoe dan ook, nu snel naar de veerboot bij Barra, om de Gambia-rivier over te steken naar de hoofdstad Banjul.

Om 16.45 uur kopen we onze tickets. Maar hé, this is Africa. Er is één ferry met motorpech, de tweede ferry komt na een uurtje of drie en opeens gaan de andere wachtrijen voor. Het rijdt allemaal dezelfde trechter in naar de klep van de veerboot, auto’s geven elkaar geen centimeter ruimte en rijden gewoon tegen elkaar aan en aan het eind van de chaos staat de ferry vol en wij nog op de kade. Nou ja, een half uurtje later komt de volgende en daar kunnen we bijna als eerste op. Na ruim 4 uur kiezen we het ruime sop en om 22 uur zijn we bij het Senegambia Beach Hotel.

Enkele partners hebben een weekje Gambia geboekt om ons daar te verwelkomen en die zien we vanavond, 11 dagen na vertrek, weer terug. Ook erg leuk om per auto de strip in Gambia op te rijden, want alle andere toeristen komen hier natuurlijk per vliegtuig en kijken dus hun ogen uit.

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