Wed 10th October, 2012: River Gambia Expedition Update, Jason Florio’s fine art photography prints, and dug outs v Ally folding canoes!


Random road shots: The Alkalo (village chief), Dam Sallah, and the village elders come to meet the team – Kerr Sat Maram, The Gambia, West Africa
Image © Jason Florio
A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey

As mentioned in a previous post, we now have a leaving date for the River Gambia Expedition – we fly down to The Gambia, West Africa, next week – at last (16th October – thanks to Jenny and Matt and all at The Gambia Experience for their support and much needed excess baggage allowance!)! And, this is mainly due to everyone’s support – through both ‘An Exchange’ and ‘Kickstarter’.

Alkalo Dam Sallah, Kerr Sait Maram © Jason Florio – 2009

Since we reached our Kickstarter target the other day, we’ve had a number of emails asking if this means its too late the get hold of one of Jason Florio’s limited edition fine art photography prints – which will be taken from a series of images he will take whilst we are traversing over 1000km through Guinea, Senegal and The Gambia – trekking and canoeing – in and around the River Gambia?

In a word: No.

Firstly, the Kickstarter campaign does not end until the 15th October (so, you have 4 more days to pledge for ‘rewards’. Please see our KS page for all the details). Secondly, ‘An Exchange’ – here on the blog – will carry on until at least the 31st October (when the expedition proper will start – when we reach Guinea and the Fouta Djallon Highlands, to begin the first leg and 200km of trekking through that region). ‘An Exchange’ works pretty much like KS (except you donate through Paypal instead of KS/Amazon) – but, along with the forthcoming River Gambia Expedition series, you can also choose from Florio’s fine art gallery, from his Black & White and Colour Collection, of images he has taken, on his travels, from all over the world.

‘Angkor Wat 2’ – Cambodia. Image © Jason Florio (B/W)

We’re particularly looking forward to posting about our arrival into The Gambia, when we meet up with our local Gambian team mates, old friends and experienced river men, Abdou and Ebu. From then, we’ll be last minute prepping – including introducing ‘The Twins’ (our two 811 Ally 16.5′ folding Canoes) to Abdou and Ebu.

H & one of ‘The Twins’ – the 811 Ally 16.5′ folding canoe – practicing on the Basingstoke Canal, Surrey, UK (not quite the River Gambia but, hey…a girl’s gotta practice somewhere). Image © Jason Florio 2012

It will be interesting to see what they think of these super-light craft, compared to their heavy, low-on-the-water, tradition dug out canoes (‘pirogues’). We’ve had some experience over the years, in The Gambia, paddling dug-outs on the Mandina balong, through Makasutu Culture Forest – made from a hollowed tree trunk, they can be very heavy and unwieldy indeed. To us, our Ally canoes virtually glide across the surface of the water! However, watching Abdou and Ebu paddling in their dug-out, and the ease (and many years of experience) with which they maneuver it, they make it look as if they are floating above the surface of the water!! Each to their own…

More updates as and when.

As always, thanks for stopping by…we hope that you continue to follow us on our journey (if you don’t want to miss our updates, simply add your email address in the box, in the right hand column, ‘Follow us…please’ and verify)

The Florios (‘Flo’ & ‘H’)

P.S. And, remember, you can still pledge or donate for Florio’s fine art photography prints – either through ‘Kickstarter’ or ‘An Exchange’

Click on image – Deadline 15th Oct. 2012

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About River Gambia Expedition 2012

Jason Florio, FRGS: award-winning photojournalist. Helen Jones-Florio: expedition & photography producer. 2009: The couple co-led the West Africa expedition 'A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush - a 930km African odyssey' - the first circumnavigation of the small West African country, by foot, with two donkeys and a cart. Resulting in the award-winning series of portraits of Gambian village chiefs (Alkalo's) www.floriophoto.com (under 'Projects') http://930kmafricanodyssey.tumblr.com/ 2012-13: The couple co-led their second West Africa expedition - 'River Gambia Expedition - 1000km source-sea Africa odyssey' over-landing for 400km and canoeing the River Gambia for 720km https://rivergambiaexpedition2012.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Adventure, Carbon footprint, Culture, Documentary, Environmental, Expedition, Fundraising, Guinea, Photography, photography, Photojournalism, Portraits, River Gambia, Senegal, Sponsorship, The Gambia, tradition, Travel, Vimeo, West Africa and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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