March 17th and 18th, 2011
Days 1 and 2; Dakar Senegal
We’d originally planned on staying in Senegal for a few days, but because we were blowing our budget by the hour, we decided that once we had our Malian visas, we’d head for Mali where we knew the cost of things would be much less than in Senegal. We’d looked into finding cheaper accommodations than the Sun, but weren’t successful. Besides, the Sun was centrally located and pretty nice, all things considered! So we splurged and stayed there.
The hotel was located on a very narrow, very busy street in the inner city of Dakar. Doesn’t look like much from the outside, but upon entering, there is a peacefulness that is palpable. Very friendly front desk people. We initially had to wait in the courtyard for our room to be ready. The wait turned into a few hours long, but it was a pleasant few hours spent discussing our plan of action, talking about how we couldn’t believe we’d actually made it to Dakar and were starting our grand adventure, and updating facebook statuses, that sort of thing. I needed to check in with the young lady who was watching my cats to see if Mew Ling was taking her antibiotic pills okay. Mew Ling every once in a while develops a urinary tract infection, which she did apparently in the days leading up to my trip. The only time I could get her in to see the vet was the day before we left, so I was worried that she would give Lisa a problem taking her meds. Lisa got back to me…Mew was fine, and taking her pill hidden in treats.
And we started taking some of our first photos of the journey, of course. After shaving the next day, Abner decided he was giving up shaving for the remainder of the trip.
The rooms were upstairs and over looked the small open ceilinged courtyard. Downstairs was a bar, a restaurant, the lobby, and a couple of meeting rooms. We were in room three. To enter the room required opening two doors. The outer door was wooden slatted to provide privacy and allow in a small amount of light, the second was panes of glass. I struggled getting the keys to work. Why is it that African keys are always a problem??? Anyone else out there who has spent time in Africa find that keys and locks are a challenge for them?
The open courtyard was quiet despite the very busy city right outside the main entrance. There were birds, weaver birds maybe, building nests in the trees which provided light shade from the heat of the day. The walls were decorated with peeling but brightly colored murals.
This is the first of quite a few very interesting key chains. And check out the keys! They look very similar to each other, but there’s a different one for each of the doors.
The room was a bit small, but very clean and completely adequate for our needs. No evidence of bed bugs here! We turned on the AC immediately figuring we should probably enjoy a little bit of cool when we could. We had decided to come at the hottest time of the year because it: 1) worked well for both of our schedules, 2) would mean the least amount of mosquitoes as it was well into the dry season, and 3) would be the lowest time of the year for other travelers, so we wouldn’t be fighting as many people for the better hostel rooms, etc.
Our room was en suite…no shared bathroom facilities…not yet anyway!
We even had a closet and more wall art to enjoy!
If you ever get to Dakar, this is a good place to stay! The food at the restaurant was good. The beer (Flag was our choice) was COLD. You can walk to the docks to catch the ferry to Île de Gorée. The cost for taxi rides to the embassies for other African countries or to Le Monument de la Renaissance Africaine are reasonable. And you feel VERY much like you are in Africa!