Saturday, 18:50

Sorry no photos yesterday, I went to the local Internet cafe to try and upload a few, but the connection was dial-up. I had a nice conversation with the guy running the cafe – a serious Anglophile who wanted to join the British Army (“they are the best trained in the world!”) and who was an avid BBC News 24 watcher. He was very excited I was called Nick because it was “like Nick Robinson”. Not sure if I had understood him correctly, I asked him if he meant the little bald chap off the news, and yes he did. He was also a big fan of Robert Peston, and even Rory Ceflan-Jones. For the benefit of my family: no, he hadn’t heard of Gavin Hewitt.

So, today we have been up Oyster Creek for a spot of lunch and some fishing. The weather was fabulous you will be pleased to know, and we spotted a variety of interesting Gambian birds including the Western reef heron, the Intermediate Egret and the Egyptian plover. We also saw “Gambian oysters” which attach to the roots of the mangrove tree, much like rope-grown mussels. I suspect they are actually a type of mussel rather than an oyster. The locals collect them by working in a pirogue, a type of wooden fishing boat slowly moving from tree to tree, picking the larger specimens.

Anyway, the fishing was great – we each caught a fish, which was a very strange looking creature called a frog fish. Even if we hadn’t been told this by our obliging pirogue captain Fordy, we would have guessed because it made a croaking noise indistinguishable from a land frog. It seemed quite unperturbed from being out of the water for several minutes, and didn’t mind too much when Tiffany cruelly dropped hers from quite a height! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to catch any lady fish which I ate at lunch (and which was quite delicious!) or a barracuda, which can be a whole metre long.

I have much more to blog on, but I think I will start the painful process of trying to upload a few pictures right now…

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