MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! The River Gambia Expedition team reach the Atlantic Ocean, Banjul, The Gambia after over 1100km road and river!


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The River Gambia Expedition team reach the Atlantic Ocean, at Denton Bridge, The Gambia – after over 1000km of road and river l-r: Helen Jones-Florio, Ebou Jarju, Abdou Ndong, Jason Florio. Thanks to Terry, of Denton Bridge Watersports, for his hospitality on our return (and the chicken and chips!)

Tuesday 22nd January 2013

After two months on the road and camping on the banks of the River Gambia, we bloody well did it!! The River Gambia Expedition team reached the Atlantic Ocean, in The Gambia, yesterday, 21st January – over 1100km later: 700km canoeing the River Gambia and 400km over-landing through the Fouta Djallon Highlands, in Guinea-Conakry – to pay homage to the source of the River Gambia, in the village of Horé Dimma.

No support boat or vehicle. No motor. Just the four of us (at one time, five) and pure and simple paddle power!!

Yellowbrick route map 2013

The River Gambia Expedition route map

Last night it felt as if we had suddenly shifted into another reality. Our great friends Geri and Maurice, who run a beautiful eco lodge – Sandele – in Kartong, came to meet us in Banjul, to help us haul the Ally 811 canoes (A.K.A. ‘The Twins and more recently A.K.A. ‘The Ally Cat’)and all our gear back to their place by the beach, for some much needed r ‘n’ r. To mark the auspicious occasion – a double celebration, as it was also Florio’s birthday – G and M cracked open a bottle of champagne and a presented Mr F with a freshly baked carrot cake. We were in an odd sort of heaven…we even had our own plates! After having spent the last couple of months eating from a ‘family bowl’ – a very common West African way of eating is by sharing a big bowl of food.

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Family bowl – West Africa style, Hore Dimma, Guinea-Conakry

BUT! We need to rewind – quite a bit, actually – and go back to where we left of on the last post – and fill in the blanks of the journey. Because we have had so little chance to on line for the last month or so we have a backlog of photos, road and river stories to share with you. However…please bear with us (again!) as we readjust to being back and catch up on the practicalities of ‘normal’ life. We have return flights to the UK to book (big thanks to The Gambia Experience) to see family and flights back to NYC and home – at long last. We’ve been gone a while. We also have to go to Banjul port tomorrow and claim our itinerant box, filled with materials we needed for the River Gambia Expedition, which arrived about a week ago – nearly 3 months late – which has seemingly done the rounds, in the Atlantic Ocean, of various ports in West Africa!

Stay with us…we will be back shortly – we promise!

The Florios – H & Flo

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check our route on the YellowBrick Tracking page

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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, Culture, Expedition, photography, Photojournalism, River Gambia, The Gambia, tradition, Travel, West Africa and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! The River Gambia Expedition team reach the Atlantic Ocean, Banjul, The Gambia after over 1100km road and river!

  1. Richard Gammons says:

    Dear H & F
    Welcome back to civilization (well that’s what we call it!) – so glad you made it back in one piece. It must have been so spectacular! Suze and I can’t wait to hear all your news and get a taste of the wonderful pics you must have come back with. Looking forward to seeing you both.
    Rich & Suzy
    xx

  2. Fionac says:

    Congratulations! Enjoy your rest.

  3. Suzy Peters says:

    I am so SO bloody proud of you guys. Get lots of rest and enjoy the comfort of those mod cons xx

  4. Ram Mohan says:

    Hey Jason n Helen, Congratulations, WELCOME BACK… when are we having that Julbrew together? Missed you at Sandele yesterday..

    • Hey Ram, sorry we missed you! We’ll give you a call to arrange that Julbrew 🙂

      Thanks so much for the ComAfrique solar lights – they rock! They were perfect for our expedition, particularly when we were packing the gear into the canoes at 6am in the dark!! We have photos for you. will send soon!
      Helen & Florio

    • Hey Ram, great to see you the other night. It seems weird to wake up and not be in West Africa anymore…ice on the windows outside the bedroom door…brhhhhhh. Planning to make it back soon as! H & Flo x

      PS thanks again for the phenomenal ComAfrique Intelizon solar lights, for the expedition!

  5. nikkigermany says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to hearing all the stories..

    Nikki

    On Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 9:19 PM, WordPress.com wrote:

    > ** > River Gambia Expedition 2012 posted: ” The River Gambia Expedition team reach the > Atlantic Ocean, at Denton Bridge, The Gambia – after over 1000km of road > and river l-r: Helen Jones-Florio, Ebou Jarju, Abdou Ndong, Jason > Florio[/capt”

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