We pulled up to our hostel in Cap Skirring just after 3pm and were greeted by the very friendly owner, Ozmo. He showed us to our rooms, where we dropped our stuff and changed into bathing suits. The hostel was located on a hill overlooking the ocean, with a long set of stairs leading down to the beach. After telling Ozmo what we wanted for dinner, we heading down to the beach.
Because we had missed tourist season, we were practically the only ones on the beach. We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging and swimming, enjoying the mini paradise we had stumbled across. For dinner, we had freshly grilled fish with a vegetable curry. Again, we noted how the food in the south was much less oily and included more vegetables than in Dakar, something we were very thankful for.
The next few days were spent at the beach, enjoying the bathtub-warm water and watching dolphins jump about in the waves about 100 yards out. We walked into town to buy fresh fruit and explore the area, noting that the town was definitely oriented around the tourism that came for several months of the year. At night, we went swimming in the ocean, in awe of the bioluminescence which glowed blue in the water when you touched them. We looked up at the stars, which aren’t visible in Dakar because of all the light pollution, and were thankful to have the opportunity to escape the city for the little beach town.
The Casamance region is known for its rich culture and tradition. Because the region is separated from the rest of Senegal by the Gambia, there have been issues in the past with whether or not the region should govern itself and form its own country. This has resulted in violent protests and revolts. However, in recent years the region has worked to restore peace, particularly with the intention of boosting its tourist industry. The Casamance has much to offer in terms of natural beauty and fertile soils for agriculture and hopes to become a tourist destination, stimulating the local economy.
We truly enjoyed our few days spent in Cap Skirring and were sad to leave the little paradise we had found, although we all agree to come back at some point in the future. We had arranged for the same sept-place to come pick us up and take us onward to the next leg of our journey: the Gambia.