No 2, 2nd Time Around
The next morning, we decided that the Banana Islands were not a good idea – we both had a nervous feeling after the trouble in Freetown, which had woken us up to danger in some sense, and the thought of a canoe trip across stormy water suddenly seemed like a very stupid idea.
So instead, we headed back down that bumpy non-road to Sussex, for coffee. We met the soppy dog again, who didn’t mind at all that I was burying her in sand – she seemed to feel quite cosy.
Then we went back to the white sand of No 2 River Beach, for a lovely, relaxing day – my last whole day. Even the sun came out for a while, before a lunch of fish kebabs with tomato and herb sauce, ketchup, sweet potato chips and Star. A new skinny dog enjoyed some of our chips, but there was no sign of the hungry chicken this time.
We went for a walk on the beach, watched some fishermen preparing their new nets, and I bought a made-to-measure skirt, which the tailor brought to me on the beach when it was finished. One fisherman told my dad he has a beautiful daughter. My dad generously offered me in marriage, saying I was very cheap, and would exchange me for the guy’s fishing boat! He was joking, but still - how embarrassing! After a swim in the warm waves, it was time to go.
When we got back to the hotel, we learned that the trouble in town the evening before had involved knives and machetes, and that some people had been injured. The police had had to use tear gas to control the situation.
The last supper was at The Bunker, a fantastic, wooden first floor beach bar on Lumley beach, with reggae and 80s hits playing and a sea breeze flowing through the restaurant. I had prawns in batter, with chips and salad. It was nice, but the prawns were a bit heavy on the over-cooked batter. Pa had prawns in a tasty Mediterranean sauce, and we both drank Star.
We had digestives of rum at the hotel, with some of the staff, including the laughing barman, who was uncontrollable again - this time because my dad told him I’d gone to Paddy’s, and that my dad’s colleagues go to Paddy’s to pick up white women. (Er.. what white women?! There was only me and one student who were white and female.) A waiter sold me the mix CD he’d managed to acquire, and we listened to the music (and the laughing barman) as we drank our rum.