Around ten years ago I went on holiday to The Gambia. It was quite an adventure for me really. I'd been with my (now) wife since I was eighteen, so I hadn't been on any "lads" holidays before (I'd been backpacking on my own but this was with mates) and I'd never been to Africa before.
|Terry on the left and me tree hugging on the right|
There were three of us going, Terry (my best mate from college), Colin (a friend Terry had made when he lived in Australia) and me. We were off to see a good friend, Olly, who'd moved out to Gambia with his mother to build and run a hotel and bar. When we arrived the hotel was under construction, the swimming pool was a big hole in the ground and our beds consisted of some squares of foam in an un-air-conditioned room that we'd all be sharing.
|Good fun in the Range Rover|
The holiday was something of an education, I have many stories containing, among other things, getting drunk in a bookshop, getting left in a night club on my own until five in the morning, trecking the length of the coast in a Range Rover, out running fire engines on the road, flushing out the drunks from his bar with a dozen "African" dogs, and going through an army check points without stopping, because, in Ollys words "they can't afford the bullets!" It was great fun and I'm sure I'll remember it forever.
|Colin with a puffa fish|
|We pretty much slept rough for the two weeks. Five of us on foam mattresses on the floor. No air con and no proper windows!|
|Terry, me, "The chef" and Colin|
The hotel is a long time finished now, Olly has other successful businesses out there as well as running the hotel. From the pictures it looks gorgeous and that's one of the reasons why Terry is going out there next month on his honeymoon and to catch up with an old friend, as well as what you're expected to do on your honeymoon, I'm sure...
|Tez and me with the local children who'd come to watch a film a couple of times a week.|
Now maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm thinking the last place I'd want to be at the moment is anywhere in West Africa (sorry Hippo). The Home Office say it's fine to travel to The Gambia and no cases have been reported there yet, but can you trust a country that's its main source of income from tourism to report something like Ebola? It would stop people travelling there overnight.
So my question to you all is this: If you had paid for your flights and had no chance of getting the money back, would you still go on your honeymoon to West Africa?