1. Road shots - the expedition team, taken by Jones - James Island, Juffereh, The Gambia, West Africa, 2009

    After Florio had taken the portrait of the female village chief, Tako Tall, her son Karamo, took us on a short boat ride out onto the Gambia River to James Island. Once used as a slave port, it contains the ruins of an old fort, Fort James.

    I had been here before, many years ago, and the size of the island is diminishing slowly  (daman ding, daman ding - mandinka)slowy, being reclaimed by the river. Its a beautifully haunting place……so much history……. so much fear, pain and anguish housed on that small island

    L-R: Momadou, Florio, Janneh & Samba

    Taken whilst on a ‘A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush - 930km African odyssey’

    Image © Jones-Florio, 2009

    For Jason Florio’s award-winning portraits of Gambian village chiefs and elders, please visit:

    http://www.floriophoto.com/#/projects/930km%20african%20odyssey/1

     

  2. Press: Blog Entry-June 2010 Adventure Travel Magazine, UK, on-line now! Interview with Jones about ‘A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush - a 930km African odyssey’

    Screen shot 2010-06-24 at 2.54.30 PM

    Images by: Jones & Florio

    When Florio and I returned to the UK from The Gambia, Rosie Fuller of Adventure Travel Magazine called and interviewed me for a feature about the expedition. The article came out on the shelves in their April edition, 2010, and they have now just uploaded it into their website. Here is the link to the article:

    http://www.adventuretravelmagazine.co.uk/index.php/digital-issue

     

  3. 'A 930km African Photography Odyssey: Don't Wait For An Editor To Call - Create Your Own Assignment' presented by Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio

    FOTOFusion ‘Develop you inner creativity' (Jan 11-15, 2011)

    The 16th Annual International Festival of Photography and Digital Imaging
    Where Creativity and Technology Fuse

    produced by the

    Palm Beach Photographic Centre
    415 Clematis Street • West Palm Beach • Florida 33401
    Tel (561) 253-2600

     

  4. Blog Entry: June 2010. ‘Wobbly Productions’ Presents: Jones films Jason Florio photographing the alkalo (village chief), Landing Jammeh, of Kalaji, The Gambia, West Africa, as part of what would become an award-winning series of colour portraits  http://www.floriophoto.com/#/projects/930km%20african%20odyssey/1

    Our first foray into filming our journey – hence the name ‘Wobbly Productions’!

    (Main image: Florio-2009 Alkalo’s Landing Jammeh & Julu Sanyang)

    Kalaji Village was in such an idyllic setting – our tents were pitched in the middle of a big pasture, beneath a huge tree (perfect for shade against the midday sun). Neil and Paddy, the donkeys, loved it too as they had the whole field to graze from. That was until the herd of cattle returned home to pasture later in the day. If donkeys are capable of expression, I would say that their look was pure bemusement, at being surrounded by about 100 cows and bulls! And the cattle, in return, equally bemused by the interlopers in their field!

    We then realised that the tree was the only real shade in the village and (something we should have known by that point) its where the whole village congregate to sit and chew the fat at the end of their working day. So, along they came, a steady stream of villagers, until our camp site was surrounded by very voiciferous, curious kids and adults alike. They brought their wooden benches and stools, plastic chairs and, in one case, a women brought her sewing and another two women sat and plaited each others hair. Our team became the free entertainment and amusement well into the darkness of the evening - rather like starring in our very own live reality tv show!

    Kalaji is one of the villages that really stands out for both Florio and myself, from the whole journey. Gambians are truly the most hospitable people and in this particular village, even more so.

    Ok, over to ‘Wobbly Productions’ (excuse the amateur filming in advance – we did get better as time went on. Honestly!)

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=438393635711&ref=mf

    Neil and Paddy meet the first one of the herd, whilst Florio watches on, Kalaji, The Gambia, W Africa

    Neil and Paddy ain’t seen nothing yet! They meet the first one of the herd, whilst Florio watches on.

    Image: Jones-2009-Kalaji, The Gambia, W Africa

    The cows (and bulls!) are coming home!! Kalaji village, The Gambia, W Africa

    Neil “my, what big horns you have!!”  The Kalaji herd start to move in…….The cows (and bulls!) are coming home!!

    Image: Jones-2009-Kalaji village, The Gambia, West Africa

    The Kalaji kids, The Gambia, W Africa

    And here come the kids! 

    Image: Jones-2009- Kalaji village, The Gambia, W Africa

     

  5. Press: Adventure Travel Magazine, UK - interview Jones about ‘A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush - a 930km African odyssey’m plus the importance of teabags (preferably PG Tips) on the road!

    Blog Entry: June 2010

    Rosie Fuller at Adventure Travel Magazine, UK,  interviewed yours truly right after we got back from The Gambia to the UK in January, 2010, about the expedition. Initially, they put a taster up on the AT site:

    http://www.atmagazine.co.uk/content/view/1550/147/

    Dawn on the road from Kalaji, The Gambia, West Africa

    Dawn on the road from Kalaji, The Gambia, West Africa

    Image: Jones-2009

    Then in the March/April ‘on-the-shelves’ edition (issue #86), they featured the whole interview:

    http://www.adventuretravelmagazine.co.uk/index.php/digital-issue

    The link opens up to the front cover, scroll through to page 20-21 for the feature.

    Dust, dust and more dust - Florio and the team on the road, The Gambia, West Africa

    Dust, dust and more dust - Florio and the team on the road, The Gambia, West Africa

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    Florio, Jones and the Short Walk team on the road, The Gambia, 2009

    Florio, Jones and the Short Walk team on the road, The Gambia, 2009

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    The most important piece of kit: ‘PG Tips’ (around The Gambia in 180 teabags!)

    Enjoy!

    Jones & Florio on behalf of the rest of the Short Walk team

    Main Image © Florio-2009-Gambia (p)Hadley jumping out of the boat after crossing the Gambia River

     

  6. Image by Jason Florio: Fatou Dansu, one of only 5 female village chiefs (Alkalo’s) in The Gambia, West Africa.

    Blog Entry: May 2010Jason Florio ‘Honorable Mention’ New York Photo Awards, 2010 - Fine Art Series category for his colour portraits of Gambian village chiefs - from our expedition 'A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush - a 930km African odyssey'

    Much to our complete delight, we found out a couple of days ago that Florio was in the finals in the Fine Art Series category, for the NYPhoto Festival Awards, 2010 for his portraits of the Alkalo’s. There are around 15 finalists who will then be narrowed down to 3 nominee’s by the jurors, which will be announced on the night of the awards ceremony  (14th May).

    After a day of wandering around the various exhibitions at the festival, we arrived at the awards, anxious to hear what the final results would be and after over an hour’s delay of starting the awards (due to ‘technical problems’), they began. It was a painful process of one technical problem after another with the slide show presentation but eventually they got to the Fine Art Series category nominees and Florio was in the top 3!! “Woohooo”!!!! our little group of friends cheered. Alas, he did not win the actual award but even getting this far with an ‘Honourable Mention’ from the prestigious NY Photo Awards is enough – for the time being (hey, there is always next year!)……considering that last year over 3000 people entered the awards, with over 15,000 images, and this year there was 10% more entrants. Not bad going, Florio.

    All in all, he was really bloody happy to receive the accolade for all the hard work that he put in over the period of the expedition. And a huge abaraka bakeeh to all the Alkalo’s – without whom none of this would have happened.

    And, here are the nominee’s ……and winners:

    http://www.nyphotofestival.com/site/

    NY Photo Festival, 2010, St Annes Warehouse, Dumbo, NY

    NY Photo Festival, 2010, St Annes Warehouse, Dumbo, NY

    Image: Jones-2010

    PS little did I know (or any of our expectant friends who were with us yesterday), Florio had received a text message from the NY festival administrators that very afternoon to say that he was in the top 3 nominee’s! He was a) nervous about mentioning it (and a wee bit too humble about it, knowing him) b) wanted it to be a surprise for us all! I could have strangled him!! In the nicest possible way ;)

    More soon

    Jones & Florio

     

  7. Behind the scenes of a West African expedition (2009) - 930km by foot; Jason Florio photographs Gambian village chiefs; “your wife for a motorbike?”; TriBeca Film Festival in The Gambia!; a day on the Gambia River….plus more road-stories

    Florio with Jare Sowe, Felling Koto (Samba Lee to the right)

    Florio with Jare Sowe, Felling Koto (Samba Lee to the right)

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    Florio with the lovely Alkalo, Jare Sowe, in Felling Koto. His compound was such a peaceful setting for us to pitch our tents and rest our weary legs for the night – despite being surrounded by the usual 30+ pairs of curious eyes of the children from his family and the rest of the small village. In fact whilst Florio, Samba, Janneh and Momadou went off in search of groundnut hay for Paddy and Neil, the children kept me very entertained (and I them by proving to them that a ‘toubab’ (http://www.accessgambia.com/information/toubab.html) could ride a bicycle – a rickety old one at that  – around their sandy-floored compound, much to their delight!). Vying for my attention, the young boys showed off their footballing skills (boys will be boys) and the girls demonstrated how deftly they could make the most intricate woven fencing panels out of wah grasses – which takes them about  3 hours to make just one panel, that they then sell to neighbours and/or at the weekly lumo (market) for the equivalent of 3GBP’s. I sat and tried to communicate in my limited Mandinka, again, much to their delight, particularly by my pronunciation of their language no doubt! As they sat surrounding me, sitting as close as possible, staring unabashedly, touching my skin, or pushing the stray strands of my hair behind my ears, all in the way that most Gambian kids are – i.e. totally unselfconsciously. They are so tactile, having been brought up in such big communal close-knit environments, looking after one another almost as soon as they are able to walk. Its both very touching and humbling to be around these children (albeit, it would prove at times to be a wee bit intrusive as the journey went on. We were just not used to being  observed so avidly and constantly, feeling like the only rock in the bay that the limpet wants to latch onto. Especially when you’ve just walked a hot and dusty 30km for the third day in a row and all you want to do get horizontal!).

    The whole team have very fond memories of Felling Koto and especially of Mr Sowe, the Alkalo. Just take a look at the portrait Florio took of him from an earlier posting (or check it out on his website  http://www.floriophoto.com/#/projects/930km%20african%20odyssey/5) He has this beatific expression on his face. I cannot look at his portrait without thinking that he knows the answer to the universe……

    What was also  a surprise to us was the fact that we could get on line,  being that we were in such a tiny village. It was the first time in about a week that we were able to get an internet connection. So, between Florio and I arguing over who got to get on first to make use of the limited power that we had from the battery to charge the laptop (charged from the solar panel we lay on top of the cart each day to get the optimum rays from the sun. Even after  30km’s walk, the battery was still not fully charged). Florio needed it to use the portable printer to print off a portrait for the Alkalo and I for updating the blog, by furiously typing out my hand written notes from my journal all before the power went and/or we lost the precious connection.

    Jones with Alkalo Nyamo Ceesay, Brikama Bah

    Jones with Alkalo Nyamo Ceesay, Brikama Bah

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    Ahhh…..the magnanimous alkalo, Nyamo Ceesay, who wanted a 3rd wife and said to Florio that he would give him his motorcycle in exchange for his ‘muso’ (me! his ‘wife’!). He very thoughtfully said that he would take me for a ride on his bike first – before handing it over to Florio. Don’t you just love the candidness?!?

    Florio doing 'the deal' with Alkalo Nyamo - a wife for a bike

    Florio doing ‘the deal’ with Alkalo Nyamo - a wife for a bike

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    Samba Lee meets an old friend on the road

    Samba Lee meets an old friend on the road

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    Jones - 'Get lost!'

    Jones - ‘sod off!!’

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    Say no more!!

    Florio - The maestro at work

    Florio - The maestro at work

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    Florio feels at home - a slice of NY on the road in The Gambia

    Florio feels at home - a slice of NY on the road in The Gambia

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    Imagine our surprise, coming across a big old dusty truck advertising New York’s TriBeca Film Festival. The cinema in question being a mere 15 minute walk, at the end of 6th Ave,  from our neighbourhood, in the West Village. Very surreal in its surroundings. However, how we wished we were in the neighbourhood  right there and then, if only to get a fresh-baked pain au chocolate from Claude’s Patisserie on 4th St & 6th! Its the small things you miss on the road.

    Jones has her eye on the nuts........

    Jones has her eye on the nuts……..

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    A bit of history: groundnuts (peanuts)  were introduced to The Gambia by the Portuguese in the 16th century and up until the 1800’s, they were only grown for domestic consumption. Then the Brits came along and introduced the groundnut as a crop  – i.e. as a way to make an income.

    It being harvesting season, whilst we were on the road, we ate so many groundnuts, either straight from the shell, as above, or Momadu and Janneh would put a huge pile together and set light to them. Their way of roasting them. Then we would squat around the embers, biting off the burnt shells to get to the small ‘roasted’ peanut inside.(I say ‘roasted’ as I’m sure, by that point, they were more carcinogenic than anything else. But, they tasted darn good!!). I don’t recall that we ever even had to buy any because we would either pass by fields all the time, where they were being harvested, and farmers and kids would run out to give us a bag full or one of our guys would just ask a passing stranger (usually women), who were carrying a big bowel full (as in the photo above) wrapped in cloth on their heads, for a handful. No one ever said no. There was such an abundance of them. Everywhere you looked, Gambians would be spitting out the shells and chewing on the tasty nuts.

    The Alkalo and village elders clear the ground for our campsite, Soto Koi

    The Alkalo and village elders clear the ground for our campsite, Soto Koi

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    We arrived in the small village of Soto Koi and were greeted in the usual welcoming way. Much to our protestations, the Alkalo himself and the elders insisted on clearing beneath the shade of a tree for our campsite that night. However, we couldn’t understand why the women standing around the periphery were giggling and whispering amongst themselves. So, we asked Janneh to go and find out what was so funny. It turns out that they thought we were crazy, pitching our tents beneath this particular tree as it was infested with mosquitos! By this point, the ground was clear and we did not want to risk insulting the alkalo and his men by asking if we could move somewhere else. Suffice to say, that night, we ate out ‘chop legge legge’ (as quickly as we possibly) and retreated to the protection of our tents, pronto!!

    Florio - 'Its ok team, I  think can see the end f the road from here'

    Florio - ‘Its ok team, I think can see the end of the road from here’

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia  (dawn over Khalaji)

    Jones - oh, did we mention the kids? Killy village

    Jones - oh, did we mention the kids? Killy village

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    Florio - carrying the groundnut hay a al Gambian style

    Florio - carrying the groundnut hay a la Gambian style

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    The things we did on the road to amuse ourselves! On route to Tendaba.

    Janneh & Jones on the road

    Janneh & Jones on the road

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    Janneh with the ubiquitous (75 Dalasi) radio. Radio and static in The Gambia are synonymous!

    Jones enthralling some local girls with her Panasonic Lumix!

    Florio, Janneh, Momadou & Samba - breakfast in Fatoto

    Florio, Janneh, Momadou & Samba - breakfast in Fatoto

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    Jones - a rare moment of relaxtion, the Gambia River, near Georgetown (Janjanbureh)

    Jones - a rare moment of relaxtion, the Gambia River, near Georgetown (Janjanbureh)

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    No kids, no team, just Florio & Jones – enjoying a rare moment off (and off our feet!), away from the road……bliss……the Gambia River is a constant favourite for both of us.

    Another dawn in paradise

    Another dawn in paradise

    Image: Florio-2009-The Gambia

    Our favourite time of the day. Half an hour before this, we would have been walking in the cool dark hours of the very early morning, having been on the road since 5am, Florio and I contemplating life, love, the universe and whether or not we would make it back to Makasutu for Christmas and turkey! I also loved this time of day because you could already begin to feel the heat of the still relatively weak sun, knowing that within the hour, you could shed the long-sleeved top, wrap, hat and scarf that you’d donned when setting off first thing.

    Florio - 'he's football crazy, he's football mad, the football has taken away the little bit of sense he had....'

    Florio - ‘he’s football crazy, he’s football mad, football it has taken away the little bit of sense he had….’

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

    On the way to Georgetown (Janjanbureh)

    Road Kill - Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    'Something dead' - Road Kill

    Image: Florio-2009-Gambia

    One of many images of Florio’s fascination of all things dead. Fortunately, its not scratch ‘n’ sniff! We would often be walking along and smell the road kill before we reached it – or even saw it at all in some cases. A putrid smell would emanate from the depths of the bush -  ’something dead’ one of us would nonchalantly comment. You kind of got used to it after your nasal cavity had experienced the initial two or three odours of ’something dead’ (either that or you had your bandana constantly on hand, preferably fragranced with lavender essential oil!)

    From the beginning - the Short Walk team leaving Makasutu to begin the odyssey

    From the beginning - the Short Walk team leaving Makasutu to begin the odyssey - Nov 2nd 2009

    Some of our good friends come to see us take the first steps – James English, Makasutu Culture Forest co-owner (2nd from left, next to Florio), Dominic. Mandina waiter (3rd from left), Lamin, Mandina chef extraordinaire (5th from left) and the usual omnipresent village kids.

    The Short Walk team: Florio (left), Samba (middle), Jones (crouching next to Neil the donkey), Momadou (right), Janneh (2nd from right) and Paddy (with his ass to the camrea!).

    It seems so long ago now and how much we would see and experience on the road over the following 6 weeks was hardly even imagined at this point.

    More images and road stories to come

    Jones & Florio

    Expedition Leaders

    Blog Entry: May 2010

    Main image by Jones-2009: Florio preparing the shot with the Alkalo, Massaneh Cham of Chamen Sosseh

    Florio preparing the shot with Alkalo Massaneh Cham, Chamen Sosseh

    Image: Jones-2009-Gambia

     
  8. A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush - a 930km African odyssey: afterthoughts and musings about a very special West African adventure.

    Main Image: Florio-2009 Mr & Mrs Bah, Tuba Dabbo Village.

    The road to Fatoto -  the last village at the end of THe Gambia, before Koina

    The road to Fatoto - the last village at the very eastern tip of THe Gambia, before reaching Koina village (our half way point)

    Image: Jones – The Gambia – 2009

    Friday 18th December 2009 – Mandina River Camp, Makasutu Culture Forest.

    It’s been almost a week since we returned from our Short Walk In The Gambian Bush expedition. The week has not been as laid back as we had wished for, or needed, however there has still been time to reflect over the last 6 weeks on the road.

    Firstly though, we bid a poignant farewell to Neil and (p)Hadley yesterday – our four-legged friends who walked all around the country with us. They were picked up by their vet Gibril and they should be back at The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust in Sambel Kunda by now, ensconced in their familiar paddock and stables – their home. We will truly miss those beautiful animals. They are amongst the most hard-working, loving and loyal creatures that you can come across. It’s almost like having a dog (they helped me not to miss Mr P, my dog back in London, too much anyway!).

    Momadou will also be back in Sambel Kunda with his new wife. I’m sure she will be very happy to have him home again. Janneh is taking a much-deserved week off, spending time with his two sons and continuing to build his house and we look forward to seeing him back here at Makasutu on Sunday. Samba carried on his usual day job here at Makasutu when we got back but is now taking a couple of well-deserved days rest too with his two wives and seven kids!. However, we did have to drag both him and Janneh out last night to do the ‘Fatou Show’. She is the equivalent of Oprah to The Gambia it seems!

    It was a live show and we had about 5 minutes to plug Gardens For Life, The Balabu Conservation Area and Makasutu Wildlife Trust before an all-singing, all-dancing Senegalese group came on to mime their tribute to the president of The Gambia (Yahya Jammeh) and his family members! Gambia TV is entertaining stuff, to say the least.

    The 'Short Walk' team are welcomed back to Makasutu by the Jola women dancers and Gambia TV

    The ‘Short Walk’ team are welcomed back to Makasutu by the Jola women dancers and Gambia TV

    Image: Jones – The Gambia – 2009

    Florio and I continue to work (and get some more walking in too, now that we are addicted to it!) – no rest for us but then when you have the Madina Balong and the mangroves as your back yard, and the scorching sun high up there into the bargain, we can hardly complain. Thank you to James and Lawrence – our trusty old mates and hosts (here at beautiful Makasutu Culture Forest). You guys are the business.

    Florio has a travel piece to write for The Indepedent newspaper, in the UK, and we both have to edit the gazillion images that we’ve taken to see what we want to do with them. We will put as many as possible up on the blog before we run out of space! After that, we’ll probably link a site of the rest of the images from his website (www.floriophoto.com).

    We also have to carry on pushing to raise more funds from the walk for Gardens For Life through http://www.justgiving.com/gardensforlifegambia which the expert fundraisers at The Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, will be taking over from us for now. They will ensure that any further donations come here to the Gambian schools within the Balabu Conservation Area.

    Aside from all of the above, we will also be looking at potential exhibitions in London, New York and The Gambia. Maybe even a book in the making……who knows……

    We all feel richer from this journey, in so many ways. By choosing to walk, we were able to see so much more of The Gambia which has been fantastic. It was such a perfect time of year to walk here too as the rains had just finished and the country was alive – on the land, in the air and in the rivers and balongs. I have never seen so many shades of green in one place. Visually, it was truly stunning. Harvesting of groundnuts, cassava, melons, rice etc surrounded us, throughout the whole journey. This country is abundant in its agriculture. And the Gambians work bloody hard! That’s something else we witnessed along the way.

    Shopping for vegetables and dried fish, Chamen, The Gambia

    Shopping for vegetables and dried fish, Chamen village, The Gambia

    Image: Jason Florio – The Gambia – 2009

    Whilst on the walk, we  met interesting and inspirational people all the time – from West-South-East-North. And, of course,  multitude of kids surrounded us everywhere we went (regardless of whether we wanted some peace or space at times!). However, they have to be the most unashamedly tactile and loving kids you can hope to meet.

    Gambians have big families and they all tend to live together in one compound – virtually on top of each other. This means that the kids, from toddler-size upwards, are often left to their own devises, to roam around of their own free-will and pleasure, whilst the mums get on with a multitude of everyday chores that include washing, cooking, cleaning the compound and working in the fields with the men. However, the small kids every move will inevitably be watched by an eagle-eyed older sister (in most cases, it seemed the females played the carer role whilst the boys will……well….. be boys!) – even if it looks as if she isn’t paying attention half the time! I say older, but she may only be 2 or 3 years older than her younger sibling. Nonetheless, they take on the mantle of surrogate mother very early on and with apparent effortlessness and this commands a certain respect – which they receive from their younger family members.

    A tired Florio - camp for the night, Chamois Bunda, The Gambia

    A tired Florio - (counting cows) - Camp for the night, Chamois Bunda, The Gambia

    Image: Jones – The Gambia – 2009

    It was so refreshing to see this community spirit. It reminded me of when I was a child and my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and sisters were always near by. But then, as one gets older that inexorably changes. Grandparents may pass, aunts, uncles, cousins move away and you may move on too. Conversely, this does not happen a great deal in the majority of Gambian families. A son or daughter may go off to find work or go to school in the bigger towns (or even another country) but this is so that they can help support their families back home. And, they often come home, back to The Gambia. There is a real sense of loyalty, commitment and, especially, that respect within Gambian families that is a joy to behold. They stick together!

    Jones, Momadou & Neil with our usual audience of curious Gambian kids

    Jones, Momadou & Neil with our usual audience of curious Gambian kids

    Image: Jason Florio – The Gambia – 2009

    As mentioned, we found The Gambia to be both culturally and agriculturally rich. We were truly enthused by how much we experienced as we traversed the dusty roads, sandy pathways and ventured deep into the Gambian bush.  It’s a beautiful country. Come see it for yourself. I doubt very much that you would be disappointed.

    With love and thanks for stopping by to share our journey

    Jones, Florio, Janneh, Samba, Momadou and Neil & (p)Hadley

    PS we will continue to put up our walking images – each one has its own story to tell of the journey, The Gambia, the people and anything else that we may have forgotten to add! So, please keep checking in x

    Images: Florio & Jones - 2009, The Gambia, West Africa

     
  9. Homage to our sweet road mates, Neil and (p)Hadley, the donkeys. ‘A Short Walk in The Gambian Bush - a 930km African odyssey’ would not have been the adventure it was without them.

    Thanks a million to Heather Armstrong and the girls at The Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust. These guys do amazing rehabilitation work out in The Gambia and they rely on donations from the public (and volunteer workers). Please take a minute to check out their site and even if you can’t donate at this time, then please spread the word.

    Many thanks, the Short Walk expedition team

    http://www.gambiahorseanddonkey.org.uk/

    Images: #1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9 - Jones  #7-Florio 2009

     
  10. Meet the expedition team behind ‘A Short Walk in The Gambia Bush - a 930km African odyssey’ Portraits by Jason Florio (and Helen Jones)

    Images: #1,3,4,5 - Florio #2 - Jones 2009, Makasutu Culture Forest, The Gambia, West Africa.

    #1- Helen (‘Boss Lady’) Jones - Co-expedition leader and photography producer

    #2 - Jason (‘Mappin’ out The Gambia’) Florio - Co-expedition leader and photographer

    #3 - Ablie (‘The Negotiator’) Janneh - security, negotiator and Mandinka language teacher

    #4 - Samba (‘Silafando’) Leigh - cultural advisor

    #5 -Momadou (‘Jamtang!’) Bah - chief donkey handler (The Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust)

    December 19th 2009 

    Thanks to our good friends and hosts at Makasutu Culture Forest, James English and Lawrence Williams http://www.makasutu.com/

    Also, David Jefferies at Addict, UK for the clothing and tents http://www.addict.co.uk/