Friday, September 22, 2017

Cap Skirring - ocean, sand and palm trees, old cars and dead fish

<< Cap Skirring - Ocean, nisip si palmieri, masini vechi si peste mort Senegal Street Food - Fataya>>

It is time to show you one of the nice places of Senegal – Cap Skirring, the most popular tourist destination.

Cap Skirring is a little village on the Atlantic coast, being the last populated place on the southern border, kind of like Vama Veche in Romania. But alongside the village there are a lot of hotels and villas, some with their own private beaches. Probably the most famous one is Hotel Club Med, belonging to the company with the same name, a French group that deals in the vacation business.

Depending on where you look, Cap Skirring can be either:
  •           Superb and tropical

  •          or kind of crappy

If you choose to spend your vacation in such a place, you can either

- sit all day at the hotel or on the beach and enjoy
  • the tropical weather
  • the large beaches, with not so many people
  • the fresh food – fish and seafood
  • traditional music
  • depending on why you went there, sample the local pleasures (hint hint!)
- or if you have a guide you trust, visit the Casamance area, the traditional Wolof and Djola villages and if you are lucky, attend a tribal ceremony

Of course, like in all the region, or maybe especially here, since it is a touristic destination, you must be prepared to negotiate dearly. There are no prices displayed and the whiter your skin or the stronger your accent, the bigger the price you will be. It’s not about racism at all, it’s just that whites usually are tourists and have and are willing to spend more money, and who would not want to take advantage of that? :)

Now that it’s relatively clear what it’s like, how to get there from Europe and how much does it cost?

You can opt from:

1. Directly to Cap Skirring

Apparently there is a flight two times a week from Paris, but I cannot find it in any website It might appear only in the holiday season

2. Through Dakar

There are return flights to Dakar from Paris and Lisbon, at about 3-400 EUR/pers. Flight time about 6 hours

From Dakar you can get to Cap:

2.1 direct, by plane: Dakar-Cap, route operated by the local company Transair

  • flight time only 45 m
  • the price is quite high: return flight is ~270 EUR: the company has exclusivity on the route and they can make their own prices
  • the small plane is very confortable
  • there is only one flight per week

  • no layovers

      2.2 Dakar - Ziguinchor - Cap

On the Dakar - Ziguinchor there is a daily flight (180 EUR return flight), or you can do it by boat or by car, see this article

From Ziguinchor to Cap it’s just 70 km and you can easily get there by car, and that is an experience in its own. Which I absolutely wanted to try:

You go the grand bus station, which looks like this on the outside:

... and like this on the inside:

... any you hop in a public transport vehicle:
  • taxi 7 places, at 1700 XOF(2.5 EUR). Trip time about 1 - 1.5 h

  • or a minibus, at, la 1300 XOF (2 EUR). The time will be from 1.5 h upwards, depending on the number of stops along the  way

The road to get there is interesting, as it winds through palm tree forests. Rice fields, mangroves and various villages and settlements 

If you want to know what’s the story with the dead fish in the title, from the place where the taxi/minibus drops you off, you go straight down to the beach and you will reach a fist processing area

Things are like this:

In Senegal they use salted&dried or smoked fish as a flavoring for dishes. You take the fish, cut up a small piece, crumble it and sprinkle it over the food. But the way it looks…ugh…

Basically, fishermen go out on the river or on the ocean and spend a few days there, then come back with their boats filled with fish. The women pick it up, leave it a bit in the sun, then gut it and lay it out to dry on some “tables” made of wooden sticks. Each family with their own table.

After it dries (days, weeks), it is loaded up and sold in the markets.

I saw there sea snails, crabs, stingrays, sharks and lots of other species. Oh, and flies! You didn’t think there wouldn’t be flies on a few hundred square meters of raw fish, right?

The smell….it’s something else. However, it does not stink of rotten fish, it just smells very strongly of…fish.

If you have a sensitive stomach you might want to skip the next photos:

In the end, at the market it looks like this:

What’s good in all this is that the local restaurants can get fresh fish daily. For example, this one ended up from the water straight onto my plate.

No comments:

Post a Comment