The doctor agreed that 48 hours was enough. And indeed, the patient is much better, fever-free after a massive antibiotics treatment, and actually eager to get discharged – which, with all the formalities, takes another two hours, but never mind. We have decided not to pursue the rest of our plans. We leave James Island, the slave bulwark of the Gambia, and the enigmatic stone circles of the Senegambia for next time; I had to commit to a next time, as Sofia now missed most of the pleasures of the Ngala Lodge. We skip the idea of continuing to Senegal. The idea of further travel doesn’t appeal to us anymore, for the moment. Better to fly back and fully recover in the comfort of our own home.
I found a relatively convenient flight back, leaving tonight. An unfortunate and rather sudden end to our trip, but both of us are actually quite OK with this outcome. It has been enough, for a while. Enough West Africa, enough of the heat, enough of the hospital, enough of the mediocre wine – I look forward to my own, cool wine cellar again. And to drinking water from the tap.
Next: the first of two ‘looking back’ entries