Saturday, October 3, 2009

Taking the Ferry Across the Bay to Point Denis

Libreville is located in an estuary, at one side of the mouth to a river that spills into the ocean. Across the bay, the other side of the mouth, is Point Denis. A thin strip of land that sticks out from the continent and essentially protects Libreville from the ocean. The bay (and Libreville) is on the inside of the peninsula and the Atlantic is on the outside.

The ferry is an experience. 15 or 20 people packed into an old outboard motorboat designed to hold 8-10. The “captain” wears a life preserver and because we are so heavy, it seems that the water will overtake us at any minute. We don’t wear shoes, because there are no docks in Gabon…the boat pulls up to the beach and you jump out.

It’s a 20 minute ferry ride across the bay to the point. The beaches are beautiful on the bay side (no bottles or trash) and wild and beautiful on the Atlantic side. It’s a small version/combination of NY’s Hamptons and Fire Island. The Hampton’s because the homes are owned by oil company executives and ministers of government; FI because it is a thin strip of land, not heavily populated, and you can walk anywhere you want.

There are a number of lodges on both the bay and ocean sides. Since the lodges on the ocean side require a truck to pick you up on the beach where the ferry lets you off, you generally call ahead and make a reservation for lunch; or you can spend the weekend.

A very nice way to spend the day, although not cheap, since it is Francophile Africa (ferry $20 US, lunch $35 US, about $70 US per night)

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