The morning of my African Adventure got off to a very rocky start. I had little time to pack during the week so I had to manage with last minute packing the day off my flight. I had to borrow a suitcase from a friend and I forgot my money in my planner which I also needed to take along, so just when I thought I was on my way to catch the boat across, I had to head back home. Making friends with your local Pelican Sea Coach Express owner’s girlfriend is a really good idea because when you are late, a phone call could reserve you a place on the boat and even delay the boats departure within reason. We only had a few minutes to spare as we took the right turn under Aberdeen Bridge to Sea Coach Express. We entered one of the smaller boats on the Sea Coach fleet, and the water was calm. Fifteen minutes later and we felt that we had been caught in the perfect storm. In the middle of the sea the boat hit the water hard enough to throw a grown man and his seat to the ground. I held on tight as my traveling companion vomited his morning tea in the mug from which he had previously sipped a mixture of tea and local honey.
Luckily, I had had little time to drink or eat anything so I had nothing to let out. A Lebanese woman and her two sons held on for dear life. She bent over on her knees as if to prepare for a crash landing. I grabbed my seat and the one next to mine, letting out a scream ever so often as we bounced up and down seeming to head no where but deeper into the waves. My friend was covered in sweat and I gave him my scarf to dab himself dry. The winds got heavier and the crew on the boat seemed unsure of the direction of the jetty to which we were headed. The driver assured us that they had seen worse weather and that this tiny boat had rescued several others on the seas. A crew member had to sit on the screen and lookout for the way forward, and when he said he could see the land, we all breathed a sigh of relief. I cracked my window and started to chuckle. The Lebanese lady in front of me smiled too, feeling reassured by my laughter. We reached the jetty pretending that the umbrellas would shield us from the rain.
When I arrived at Lungi Airport, check in was yet to start for my Arik Air flight to Dakar, Senegal and the flight had still not landed. My friend convinced me to try the jollof rice on offer at the bare necessities restaurant downstairs in the waiting area. It came ten minutes after we’d ordered it and my mouth was delighted to taste the steaming rice and stew. We shared a plate of rice and washed it down with ovaltine. Just as I rested my head on the table to take a short nap, the security officer called me over to say the flight had landed and was soon to start boarding. I hugged my friend goodbye and made my way to check in. We boarded the flight and we recorded the intro for the show. “Hello and Welcome to another Episode of the Vickie Remoe Show, today is the start of my African Adventure, and we are going to show you Senegal and Mali like you’ve never seen before, we might get lost on the way…”