Image by: Florio-2009 James Island - a former slave port, on the Gambia River, Juffereh, The Gambia, West Africa.
Looking back on the expedition:
Blog Entry: January 2010
The Short Walk team visited James Island in December 2009 on our walk back along the north bank of The Gambia. The now tiny island is situated on the Gambia River, about 2 miles off the main land, near the villages of Juffereh and Albreda. After a 15 minute ride on a small colourfully painted pirogue, across the choppy waters of the Gambia River, we planted our feet firmly on this diminishing piece of historical rocky ground.
The island has certainly gotten noticeably smaller since the last time I visited around 8 years ago. All that remains are a few weather-beaten baobab trees and the stone ruins of Fort James. The river is gradually reclaiming the land. This is perhaps not a bad thing in the light of what once represented: originally used as one of the important West African ports for transferring the slaves to countries such as Europe and America.
We were taken over there later in the day (thankfully missing the masses of tourists that are trucked in earlier each day, during the season, by the tour operators) by the Alkalo’s son, Karamo, and as we were leaving at dusk, Florio said what an amazing experience it would have been to set up our camp for that night on the island…..”but why didn’t you say……it is possible….my mother is the Alkalo!”. Mind you, I’m not too sure how well Neil and (p)Hadley, our donkeys, would have taken to the small pirogue on the river with their obstinate objection to being within even sniffing distance of water. I think that we may well have unintentionally ended up swimming in it!
More images to come…….
Jones & Florio – now back in the snow (and cold!) of England
On-the-road-shots by Florio-2009: Harvest time in The Gambia - Boy collecting grasses, Tuba Dabbo village