After a month in chilly Morocco, ‘warm weather was calling’. A quick internet search for destinations south of Casablanca and we had a flight booked for Dakar, Senegal, where we spent the better part of three weeks relaxing on NGor Island, an offshore Senegalese paradise at Dakar’s doorstep. Not your 5-star concept resort, but a treasured spot where deciding between a swim or reading was as tough as it got.
The commotion and taxi drivers shouting at each other in Wolof over who would get our business to the hotel from the airport was unnerving. Welcome to Senegal.
Once adjusted to the frenzy, and after a short 10 minutes from Dakar airport, we arrived at our transfer point. Pants rolled up; shoes slipped off, we embarked on a small pirogue lining the beach. The wooden boats go back and forth across the strait, bringing local, day trippers, surfers, and supplies to the little-known Island. Welcome to NGor Island; nothing grand here, but absolutely everything needed for easy living.The Islanders move at their pace, there is no hurry, and it took no time to adjust to the African way, and fall in love with the laidback lifestyle.
Hot water and wi-fi were available most of the time, or whenever the staff would get around to changing the gas tank and adding credit to their internet account. We didn’t mind. In the privacy of our verandas; the upper shaded or the lower one in full-sun we read, painted, worked on our blog, stretched out in the sun and sipped refreshing cool drinks.
Our little retreat.
Beach number two was our hang out. From our morning breakfast at the Yaadikoone restaurant in the warm morning light, and afternoon dips followed by social time at the Oasis bar, to Gordon joining the locals for a game of paddle ball as the sun set.The island has an artsy vibe, colourful tile mosaics are everywhere, as are metal and wood sculptures. Sandy alleys criss-cross the island, connecting the three tiny beaches and the rocky oceanside cliffs.
NGor is known for its world class point breaks which attract surfers from all over for the famous waves that were featured in the 1960’s classic surf movie The Endless Summer.On beach number three there is a lineup of food shacks, and we visited our favourite, Mame Samba frequently for tasty fish kebabs at the water’s edge, the waves licking our feet while we dined.The island regulars performing at their afternoon jam session. At dusk, when the trinket sellers and day tourists return to Dakar, the teenagers come out to play.How could we not unwind with the nightly peaceful view from the veranda?Île de Ngor was the perfect restorative vacation we needed from our first five months on the road.