Monday, 13 October 2014

A Friends Honeymoon To West Africa

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? 

29 comments:

  1. No....I wouldn't travel to Texas just now, let alone WA.....

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    1. Don;t say that - my folks are going there soon!

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  2. I hafta agree with Wanda. I deliver vehicles in a wide area for a dealership but I turn down the jobs that require more than one tank of fuel. The way I see it this thing can go hot at any minute of any day without warning and I don't want to be more than one tank of gas away from the homestead.

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    1. In the UK you can pretty much say that about the whole country! Unless I was going up to Scotland or the south coast one tank would probably get you home

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  3. Absolutely no way... it would be sheer madness at this present time. I would most definitely not travel far from home. xx

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    1. I text him the other day and just enquired but they still seem keen.

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  4. No way... they just reported a possible ebola case in Boston, that is less than 200km from me and way too close for comfort. The vulnerability of it all is just to much to consider it pleasure. But that comes from someone who has not been on a real vacation for over 10 years. Last time we traveled overseas was 2 days before 9/11 and we got stuck in Portugal. Not a good feeling.

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    1. I bet! I didn't travel that year but I remember when it all happened, we though world war three was starting, not good to be travelling at that time.

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  5. No, absolutely not. It's not worth the risk.

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  6. When I was in high school during the "cold war" (graduated in 1982) the science teacher pointed out that the Russians had some thing like the 27 biggest cities in the US targeted and if there was a nuclear war we were toast. Somehow I just never figured I'd make it to retirement age anyway.
    So, yes, if I were young I'd go to Gambia on my honeymoon. I wouldn't go to Liberia. As long as I was over there I do my best to visit that Hippo guy. However, I don't think I would take my child.

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    1. Hippo is in Angola, a country much further south. So far you'e the only one brave enough to go! Not sure I'd go with you though...

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  7. Not sure Kev. Ebola and ISIS are making parts of the world too dangerous to visit.

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    1. I think you'd be pretty unlucky to be somewhere where the ISIS are at the moment but the ebola thing is more about picking it up and not realising until you infect all your family, that's what would worry me!

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  8. I wouldn't go. Being dead is forever. I've been in 36 foreign countries, from Europe to the Middle East to Asia. I think it would be pushing my luck to go to that part of the world with Ebola spreading.

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  9. Sorry nope. Not me. I use hand sanitiser at work where people have touched the door handles and not washed their hands. I cant hold my breath that long or have a Bart Simpson bubble. Nope sorry. I know Africa is massive, but I would die of a panic attack before anything else. (yet camping or being out in the country don't faze me, just other peoples yucky-ness)

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    1. I'd be so paranoid I wouldn't enjoy the holiday I think! I'd be watching for anyone coughing! Difficult to keep clean over there as well!

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  10. A big NO from me, it just not worth the risk, I would be more concencerned of passing something on to my kids. But only you can make this choice.

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    1. I don;t think we'll rush to see them when they get back...

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  11. I have friends currently in West Africa, I tried to get them to cancel but they went anyway.
    They were warned.

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    1. Same situation then. You can only say what you think and they have to make their own decisions.

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  12. Nope. No way. Absolutely not.

    Some risks are unnecessary and could affect a whole lot of other people should you bring an infection back with you.

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  13. ps if the foreign office says don't go, you should tell them to check their travel insurance.

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    1. At the moment it still says it's "safe" to go, if that changes they might change their minds.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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