After our experience of walking around yesterday and being followed the whole way by a friendly guy wanting some work on the ship (who wanted to know why Sam isn't married and why Tommy didn't want more children as he doesn't have a girl - both good questions, but still...all a bit weird for us being brand new in Africa!) we were grateful for an invite to a swimming pool with a bunch of friends and someone who knew the way!
Apart from the challenge of getting the pushchair along some of the very sandy streets (which was achieved thanks to Mike helping Tommy get Joshua past the sandy bits!) it was flat, easy walking although pretty hot. We arrived at the hotel after about half an hours walk and found other ship folk already enjoying the pool. There was a lot of discussion about what we all had to wear - they were initially very strict that the men had to wear speedo's (ie very small tight swimming trunks, that the men were horrified at the very thought of and against the ships modest dress policy!) rather than swimming shorts. This meant that none of the guys initially fit the criteria and were told they wouldn't be able to swim - apparantly they had been selling speedo's (expensive used ones!) but probably weren't prepared for the number of extra visitors the first weekend after the ship arrived! Anyway, in the end they said we should go to the market and buy some before coming again and they let the men swim after all!! So we enjoyed swimming before heading back.
We managed to get the pushchair back, past the sand, past the hundreds of lorries and millions of motorbikes, half of which were on the pavement, past the people who call us 'yovo' (white man) or yovo bebe (Joshua - he's still my baby!), past the people selling things as they walk around with them on their heads, past the people lying around in the sun, past the guards on the dockside who didn't want to see our ID, but were highly amused, as were everyone else by the sight of a child sleeping in a strange method of transportation amongst the noise and the bustle.
(who will learn to carry children in slings on her back, should she have any more, so she doesn't seem so out of place trying to negotiate a pushchair through the streets of West Africa!)