Sunday, June 10, 2012

Easter at Turtle Islands, Sierra Leone...

Tucked away in the Atlantic Ocean, near Sherbro Island off the coast of Sierra Leone, lay the Turtle islands. Seven (or eight if you count Foto Island that no longer exists) in number the tiny islands are: Bakay, Yele, Bompetoke, Mooth, Hoong, Seh and Nyangai island. The islands are stunning, with beautiful beaches, green palm trees, clear blue waters and friendly people.

I was fortunate to be able to spend Easter weekend there with three good friends: John, Katy and Suzanne. We had an amazing time. We drove to Shengbe and spent some hours there while waiting for the tide to come in so that we could take the boat across to the islands. We had a lovely time with chief Doris before heading to Turtle Islands.

It was approaching dusk when we arrived at the Islands. While nearing one of the islands we noticed the Island was covered with huts – this didn’t seem very relaxing to us and we asked the boat man if there was another island that we could go to that was less crowded. That’s how we ended up at Bakay Island.

Bakay is amazing with its long stretches of beach and unique nature. I loved my time there. It was a mini paradise. We arrived just after dark and showed up unannounced of course, but that was not a problem. The village people were happy to see us and to our surprise there were some rooms available to stay in. Since we had our hearts set on camping, we decided to rent one room for our stuff (and to make use of its bathroom) but pitched our tents for sleeping.

We spent time chatting, eating, swinging in the hammock, taking walks around the island, swimming at an amazing spot, going to Yele Island to buy lobster, etc. We also went back to the Island we passed the first night- Nyangai, which is the smallest of the islands and is said to be slowly disappearing. It is interesting to watch how the island changes in size drastically depending on the tide. Again, the people were friendly and as we walked around the tiny island, we had a trail of children by our side. I was impressed that some of the children spoke Krio, English and Shebro. Apparently there is a teacher on the island!

Bakay Island provided an amazing get-a-way and I’ll definitely be back. We took a roundabout way of getting there, and I now know that I can arrange it a bit easier through the guy that runs The Lodge. The trip is a bit pricey, but worth it for sure. It’s the type of place I’d want to take my whole family to someday. I know, the chance is small, but I’ll keep dreaming.

1 comment:

Mustapha Jambawai said...

I am From Sierra Leone and I have been thinking of starting a family trip from Freetown to the Islands and would very much like to hear from you to get more info and share ideas

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~