Christmas was a very low key affair. I stayed in Basse and had some friends over for lunch and played some Christmas carols on my laptop, which up until the day before had stopped working. Miraculously it started working just in time to get me in the festive spirit! Even in church they were not singing any of the carols that we sing back home. It was a very nice day and rather simple for a change. None of the stress or anti-climax that usually appears on the day itself. I think everyone enjoyed themselves even though it was not a proper ‘British’ Christmas.
For New Year I came to Kombos and have to say had one of the worst journeys yet! The bus eventually left Bansang, where I had been for the weekend, at 8.30am. It took about an hour to work its way to JJB (a journey of about 20mins!) We arrived to find a crowd of people wanting to get on to the already packed bus. They then proceeded to try and push themselves onto said bus. There were all sorts of arguments between the driver, apparenti (conductor) and passengers. A Policeman was watching on doing nothing. When we eventually did leave JJB, the bus was crammed with people sitting on empty jerry cans or benches in the aisle. Some others were standing for the rest of the journey to Kombos. It was not even over yet, the driver kept stopping by the side of the road to pick up yet more passengers and run what seemed like personal messages of collecting firewood and watermelon or just to have a smoke. The lady behind me at one point tried to push her way out of her seat after having had an argument through the window with him. Personally I would have let her out to face him, but others were not so keen to let her face him! It was not over yet. 3 hours later we reached Soma (should take about 1.5 hours) where we were told we would be leaving in 15mins. 1 hour later we left. By the time we reached Kombos it was about 5/6pm. During the course of this journey I also had the misfortune to have a young girl of about 8/9 fall asleep on my lap and wet herself all over me........not just once but 3 TIMES. I kid you not! I could do nothing, the bus was so squashed I could not even move her and she would not wake up either. The joys of travelling in The Gambia! Definitely not taking the bus again, will go for the gelli gelli next time.
(sorry can't seem to upload any photos today!)