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Finding Eldorado

Pointe-Sarene, Senegal

After a rough night of camping and an early start, we got to Point-Sarene at about 8.30am. Walking up a path lined with palm trees either side we were suddenly approached by a security guard blocking the way. As we appeared out of nowhere he seemed shocked when told him that we had walked with our bags from Saly, feeling like we had to explain ourselves and motives for turning us at the hotel. Letting us pass, he directed us to more security men in a hut on the beach whom we asked where reception was. From the hut, the hotel complex looked pretty small with small huts that were apartments. The guards said reception was on the other side of the road and one of them said to follow him, not having any idea there was a road so close. We decided that rather than lugging our bags and finding out it was too expensive, Ben took a seat and stayed on the beach bag watching while Kat trotted off following the 6'5'' giant though the huts and plant life. Kat seemed to be taking ages and Ben started to worry, but in the distance he saw her coming back. Explaining that it was miles away and she didn't have any ID or credit cards with her she had to come back. We got our rucksacks on and walked the distance to reception.

The place was massive and it expanded across the main road (a parc complex and a beach complex that we stayed on), which we had to cross to get there. Kat had already said it was expensive and there was an all inclusive deal for only 6000cfa extra. We both agreed that we could certainly drink that in soft drinks and being there meant alcohol was included too and Ben, knowing he could eat way more than 6000cfa worth, we went for it and got our little pick bracelets.

We really shouldn't have stayed there as it cost about £100 a night for the full wack, but because Kat was feeling exhausted and still a bit under the weather she said it would be her treat to pamper us both. So we dumped our bags in our gorgeous and romantic little hut, showered and pegged it to breakfast before it finished at 10am.

Ben was in his element and became bossy at this point, demanding that Kat eat properly. So she piled up her plate with the burntist toast she could find and really good scrambled eggs, whilst Ben filled up on... Eggs, crispy bacon, spicy sausages, toast, cereal, an American pancake, waffle, croissant and a load of fruit juice. He definitely got our money's worth in that sitting.

As we both felt so full after, we just chilled out around the pool before swimming our breakfast off and then returning to the dining area for round 2, lunchtime!

Still stuffed but refusing to be beaten, Kat had some veggies and rice with cheese to finish and Ben managed a fat steak, rice and pudding. He gave up on eating the cheese and bread after he nearly choked to death. Kat thought he was ok and then joking as he was pulling a funny face, but it wasn't until he was pointing to his back did she respond saying 'seriously?' With him nodding in between coughs, she quickly went round to beat his back, thinking he's going to be sick on his plate...

After that little drama we swiftly left and thought it wise to sooth Ben's throat with cocktails and cold beers by the pool. Kat's tummy was still struggling so we didn't drink that much that evening so rather than hanging out by the bar we went to explore the complex and find the crocodiles we had heard about...

The grounds were crawling with wildlife, we had monkeys roaming around our room and posed for our camera;
loads of beautiful birds
and a huge lizard strutting his stuff by the tennis courts. It looked more like a dragon that could not only run really fast, it could swim as well which we later found out.
The crocs were kept in a pool on the other side of the complex and we only saw one out of the 7 that were hidden in the depths. Looking at the map of the grounds, we found out there was more animals kept further up into the parc side of the complex. On the way we saw a guard who had a gun and were wondering why he needed one until we turned the corner and saw two hyenas, one male and one heavily pregnant female. They were in separate cages that had a door at the back that went into a large enclosure, but still not as large as the hills they’d be roaming if they were free. Kat wasn’t impressed with the hotel’s mock-up of a zoo and Ben wasn’t impressed with the huge erection that the male hyena was sporting. Penis envy springs to mind… Walking further on, we saw huge turtles and sleepy baboons who had human looking teeth and signposts all around the place saying that they were aggressive.

Although we were wearing trousers and deeted up to the eyeballs, Kat felt like she was getting bitten alive in the long grass we were walking in so we started heading to the bar on this side of the complex. The bar manager told us to hurry up and get our butts over to the other complex for our complimentary aperitifs. It felt like a long way to go for a drink seeings we were already at a bar, but we went over to check out the freebies…

Traffic light drinks that were well and truly spiked with alcohol and peanuts classed as the aperitifs, we had a feeling there was an ulterior motive to basically trying to get everyone shit-faced, something that became clearer when the entertainment started after dinner.

After only a few sips of the awful drinks, we returned to the parc side of the complex, feeling like we had well and truly worked up an appetite. Pigging out on the amazing potato gratin, green beans and carrots for main (Ben had Chicken with his), with cheese and puddings to follow and a splash of wine. Kat’s head was feeling the effects of the earlier drinking during the day and the entertainment after dinner was the icing on the cake.

A Frenchman in his late 50’s was up on stage miming to songs whist a handful of Gambian staff were half-heartedly dancing in the background. We could only bear two songs before going back to our hut for a much needed sleep as we’d been up since 5am.

The next day Ben had a plan up his sleeve whilst Kat contemplated packing up her bag. Cooking the books, Ben said that looking at our payment book with a record of all of our spendings, it wouldn’t be so awful for us to stay another night, just to make sure Kat was 100% of course. Kat didn’t need much convincing, but was questioning how people choose to go on all inclusive holidays for more than a few days as everything, from daily activities to when you can swim in the pool right down to eating times, were all scheduled.

Going to tell reception we were staying another day, they tried charging us for the next day’s breakfast saying they wouldn’t know whether or not we would have it as we were only entitled to one breakfast, but we refused to pay it saying we wouldn’t stay if that was the case. Another man stepped in and adjusted the bill for us, taking off the additional 12000 cost so all was fine in the end, but it did mean we had to rush back over to the beach side dining area to have breakfast. Kat had the same again plus a yum yum donut thing to finish and Ben did his usual self and went the whole hog by having eggs, bacon with onion, toast, cereal, waffle, American and English pancakes and a yum yum as well. Where does the boy put it?! He eyed up a girl in a bikini during breakfast so Kat wasn’t best pleased when he denied it and also said he felt ill after eating so much, suggesting we went back to the bedroom. It gave Kat a chance to ignore Ben for a while as she fell asleep for a good 2hours. Once waking up and sorting out our differences, we went for a dip in the pool, played cards and went for a very small lunch this time. We got dressed into trousers a little earlier this evening and went back over to the parc side again, trying to spot some more crocs as we had heard there were two really big ones in there. We saw the head of a huge one just below the bridge in which we were standing as it came up every 7minutes for air before lowering it’s head into the green water and becoming camouflaged.

Making up for lost drinking time, we abused our pink bands to the max this evening. Before dinner we were on beers and cocktails as we watched a fashion show with the hotel guests modeling the clothes that were for sale in the hotel’s shop. Talk about a marketing ploy. It reminded Kat of the holiday to Turkey she went on with her family when she was about 8 and her mum took part in the hotel’s fashion show, modeling leather jackets etc. It made us giggle though as some people, especially one woman in particular, took it very seriously as if there was a talent scout in the audience.

Dinner was Spag-bol and cheese…. Cheese…..mmmm. We still couldn’t eat loads but we managed to put some drink away. Getting squiffy, laughing at the Frenchman doing his miming act and feeling embarrassed for the single women groping and gyrating up against some of the male staff. We continued to drink the bar dry until they closed and remembering that the complex had a nightclub onsite, we giggled like excited school children at the prospect of doing some funny dance moves and stumbled with our drinks to where the music was now coming from.

On entering, we were drawn to the neon lights everywhere and a woman sat up at the bar on her own. Other than the barman and the DJ the place was empty. Taking a seat, we shouted to each other over the music about the women who were dancing earlier and then realised the woman with the white shoes at the bar was the one who was taking the fashion show pretty seriously. It all became clear when one of the men who worked at the resort entered and she went to hit like a fly to shit. He had to prise her arms from his waist before disappearing out the door again. It was only a few minutes later when one of the female gyrators came in looking for someone…. It was entertainment to watch in between Ben barring his teeth and says Kat’s have a competition to see whose teeth shine up the most in the UV light. Kat won hands down, but not before taking some funny photos…

Deciding it was time to go to bed, we went back to our hut stopping when Ben had to pee in a bush. He was soooooooo drunk and proved it when he disappeared into the bathroom and a retching sound could be heard. Kat went into give him some water and was presented with the image of Ben’s head in the sink. What 28year old throws up in the sink?! Kat wasn’t impressed as it was all clogged up and told Ben to puke in the loo from now on whilst she tried to unblock the sink. Pleased for her stronger stomach now, she cleared up most of it until Ben insisted that he finsished clearing up his mess. Kat was just getting back into bed when she heard a tap running, so entering the bathroom once again she found Ben next to the sink that was filled up to the brim with boiling water and sick. Kat went nuts as all of her hard work at emptying it was wasted so she let Ben sort it out and only stepped in when he was using his penknife to try and unscrew the unit under the sink to unblock the U-bend. It wasn’t until she confiscated the knife and told him to use one of the glasses to empty the grose water into the toilet did she leave him to it and return to bed. It was 2am by the time we both went to bed, not a great finish to an amazing two days rest.

We were up at 7am the next morning and Ben had his head down the loo one last time before we checked-out and had the ordeal of finding out the only bank around was back in Mbour…

permalink written by  Kat and Ben on July 18, 2009 from Pointe-Sarene, Senegal
from the travel blog: Kat & Ben's World Adventure
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