I’m sitting in a little cyber cafe in Saint Louis right now. This town is really proving to be interesting. It has African towns to either side on the mainland, but the island is essentially a little French colony. We were out last night and the place feels a whole lot like New Orleans. At least it feels a whole lot like New Orleans to me who has been living in Nouakchott for the last six months, your mileage may well vary.
The way the city is set up is you come down along the Senegal river from Mauritania. You run into a city which looks quite a bit like a Mauritanian village. A little more color and a little better concrete. Then you cross
over a bridge that was supposedly designed by Eiffel and imported from Germany or somewhere. Once you are on the island you are in the colonial capitol and it has a definite French feel to it. A little run down, but nice enough that I think most of you would enjoy it. Then on the other side of the island you have a peninsula that is about 300-500 yards across. There is a Wolof fisherman’s village there and about two miles down is our hotel.
Our hotel is a little place on the beach and is very pretty. We have a hotel room where we are putting all out baggage and then we have a two big tents out on the beach with about ten people per tent. The cost ends up being 4500cfa ($7.50) (cfa = central African franc and 1000cfa = 1750um = $1.75) a night. Not a bad deal for a very sweet hotel.
So far I’ve just been doing vacation sorts of things. Little bit of shopping in the market, little bit of going out to eat, little bit of going to clubs… I went with Andy last night to a casino. In Vegas there are laws about how much the slots have to pay out on average. Here, not so much… He went through 10000cfa in about half an hour. That’s quite a few ice cream cones (or beers depending on your tastes). It was entertaining to watch though.
We have about twenty people in town and we are expecting another ten tonight. We should have a big enough group to get the party going wherever we end up.
Well, my time is about up. I am going to go and try and find the museum that is rumored to exist somewhere and a merguez sandwich (I have no idea what merguez is other than it is meat and all the places I ask for it don’t have it).