AND NOW I’M IN WEST AFRICA
There I was pottering around making soap at home in Houston and BAM I am now in Dakar, Senegal, the westernmost point of Africa.
NEW AIRPORT IN DAKAR
I landed at the new airport, which just opened on December 7th. It was named after Blaise Diagne, the first African deputy elected to the French National Assembly (served 1914 to 1934). It was 1960 that Senegal gained its independence from France.
It was the easiest and fastest time being processed to enter into a country, except they didn’t stamp my passport! I like flicking back through my passports and remembering each trip and the dates! Time always flies.
As it was about 10pm I couldn’t see much in the dark on the drive in from the airport. But the freeway is new and it was an easy drive.
THE DAILY COMMUTE IN DAKAR
Dakar is the capital and largest city in Senegal with a population in the metropolitan area of about 2.5 million. More information from the CIA World Factbook
Peak hour traffic is like any other large city, but driving to work along the coast road, called the Corniche Highway, is pretty spectacular and too, we pass by the magnificent Le Monument de la Renaissance Africaine.
Our apartments are in the upscale Almadies District, which is quite tourist oriented and full of great restaurants. Our offices are in Fenetre Mermoz another great location. They were originally built to be apartments so we have generous balconies with ocean views.
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ROMANTIC BEDS AND SUNSETS
Being the only expat female in our crew I tend to get great accommodations. This time I am in a four bedroom apartment all to myself.
The formal living and dining room
Each evening when I get home from work I hang out on a different balcony, there are four, and photograph African sunsets. As it gets dark though the mosquitoes come out, like Houston, but Senegal is in a Malaria belt so I’m not taking any chances and I head indoors.
All the beds have mosquito netting around them. It gives a very romantic look to the bedroom, even though my apt is a registered Romance Free Zone!!
I’m not sure about the functionality of the netting given that each time I return to the apt the maids have tied the netting up like in the pic above. What is the point? Trap as many mosquitoes as possible inside the netting? However I haven’t been bitten so something is working.
STAIRCASE TO THE RENAISSANCE MONUMENT
I’m writing this on my fifth day in Dakar and luckily I’ve had the chance to do a bit of touristing already. As the monument is on the way home, I stopped there and walked up those 204 steps, yes with a couple of breaks, to take photos of the view and still my beating heart (prevent a heart attack! )
Unfortunately, I hadn’t had the chance to get any local currency at that point so I didn’t have the 3,000 XOF (about US$5.00) to get inside for the tour. Going to have to climb those stairs again!!
Found this amazing aerial view of the monument at Jeff Attaway
The highway on the left is the way we drive to and from the office everyday.
Yesterday I visited the Port Autonome de Dakar. Like any port it’s not the prettiest of places and very busy. You can’t take photos inside for security reasons so had to be satisfied with a couple on the outside.
After this I had the afternoon to be a tourist! Woohoo. But as this post has been quite long I will create a new post for my big tourist event! Stay tuned.