The smiling coast of Africa they call it, and the country and its people are certainly friendly.

Crossing the vast mouth of the mighty Gambia on a rickety ferry, we disembarked in Banjul, capital of the Gambia, and set course for its twin city Serrakunda, home of the embassies.

The idea was to get Nigerian visas for the people heading therewards, and the wait was spent one cheap taxi drive away from the beaches and resorts of the Atlantic coast, the smiling coast.

B-day was coming. Not someone’s birthday (that would still be a few days off) mind you. Nor a less than an A+ day. No, B-day was just a day of doing, buying, going to and spending by things that starts with the letter B: Bikes, beach, bottle shop, Butcher’s, bus, bath, beef, bacon, Bloody Mary, bakin’, beer….

Unfortunately the bikes weren’t available, and buses are few and far between. The lack of tomato juice ruled out the Bloody Mary, and since everyone had been raving about the pepper steak at the restaurant called The Butcher’s Shop, I chose that in favour of any pork.

It was divine! Best beef outside of Argentina, I wouldn’t wonder. Ordering it rare, they brought it to me rare, with the creamy and well-balanced pepper sauce on the side. The sauce worked equally well with the tender meat as with the crispy chips, and the rich, mildly sweet aroma of Guinness completed the finest lunch in a long time. A long time.

Many other B:s were ticked that day, including going to the beach, bakin in the sun and bathing in the ocean, whereas banking and bottle shopping had to wait for the next day.

The update from the Nigerian embassy was that the visas would be ready by Monday, meaning we could truck on inland for the weekend, halfway upstream the mighty Gambia.