It’s our fourth proper day in Senegal, and I’ll admit we slept badly. Not because of the beautiful lodge, or the comfy beds, nor was there any night noise. No, we slept badly because of my arachnophobia…
You see, I felt a need to go to the toilet at around midnight after I had been playing around on my iPhone. The late hours seemed to be the only time when the wifi worked sort of correctly. Although I had sworn not to work one minute during this vacation, I still wanted to know what was going on. And I was dying to share our beautiful adventures in pictures across my multiple social media channels.
Anyways, I go to the loo and then when I went to flush I noticed this huge thing right next to my hand on the wall. It was a gigantic spider. I mean really big. And it was green and red like. Or that’s what it seemed like at that time. I scooted out of the bathroom and turned to the only man available: my eldest son. Now Winston is 11 and he’s a big boy, bad-ass hockey player. He was going to get this spider for me.
So I woke my poor boy who came into the bathroom and toilet to look at the huge monster mommy had found. And he saw it and thought it was gigantic too. There was no way he was going to come anywhere near it. Let alone kill it. So it was up to me again.
Next tactic was to go into the toilet again, this time armed with a chemical spray which we had in our room to kill all massive insects. I approached the huge massive spider and sprayed it. At which the monster scuttled behind the toilet lid. Now we were in a fine mess.
I closed the toilet door and sprayed the entire frame with insect repellent so that the spider could not get out. Then I barred the bottom of the door with a rolled-up towel. Safe for now. I need to think quickly and act!
I looked around our room to find a telephone to call the front desk so they could send someone to kill the damn thing. It is now that I discover that there is no phone. And I suddenly recollect that this lodge is a charm hotel and that in fact, I didn’t really remember seeing a front desk or receptionist.
I remember our tour guide telling us that there were guards on the grounds to keep us safe and we had passed a man sitting on a chair in the bushes with a baseball bat when we came back to our suite the previous evening after dinner. Now if I set out to find that guard and to get him to come back to our room to remove the indesirable guest. Sounds like a great plan, right?
Off I go into the thick pitch black of the night, armed with a torch. It is the only time I used my flash light during this vacation. I had bought 3 flashlights (one for each of us) and also 3 head lights. Feeling pretty happy with myself that finally my purchase was proving to be worth while…. And then of course I started thinking. Oh woe me! It was pitch black and I could only see what my flash light was lighting up. What if a snake fell out of a tree and onto my head. What if a huge spider jumped out and bit me. What if there were other big fierce animals that come out in the night. And here I am walking about as sitting duck in hunting season. Or what if there were thugs and villains roaming around, waiting for a little blonde tourist to snatch up? There was no sign of a guard anywhere and panic had overtaken me. I made a resolute demi-tour and marched straight back to my room. Bad idea!
So no phone, no guard, and outside seemed to be yet more dangerous than inside with huge gigantic spider, which might be poisonous. So I did what any European would do in my case. I googled the lodge, found the telephone number and called that on my mobile. Somebody just had to help me! To my surprise, it was the owner himself who answered and by the sounds of it, he was asleep in bed already. Briefly explained my predicament at which the owner snapped back at me that there was nobody there to help me till morning and that there are no poisonous spiders or animals in Senegal. I was perfectly safe and would I please go back to bed?
We slept with three in a bed, me Winston and Lilly, the baby in his own crib. The next morning we all refused to go to toilet in the loo, and I will with great shame admit that the shower proved to be an excellent alternative. And that’s how it would be until somebody would come to rescue us from this animal stuck in the toilet!
Anyways, we had a lovely day despite sleep deprivation. We went down to a palm tree forest, where we enjoyed the morning splashing around in a local swimming pool by the river. There was a bar with deliciously fresh drinks. The kids went kayaking. It was peaceful and freedom and beautiful. We ate delicious food, shrimps and chicken and french fries in the shade of the trees.
That afternoon, we enjoyed some feet-up time back at Souimanga Lodge. I made a big scene to get someone to kill the animal in the toilet. They sent me an enormous big man who looked not at ease at all to get said animal. Luckily for him, there was no animal in sight when he came. So he abundantly sprayed the bathroom and left looking very relieved to have escaped this close encounter. I didn’t trust it one bit. Not one bit.
In the evening, we went out again for a ride on a motor boat down the Saloum Delta river. We talked about the local industry and fishing activities. How people make a living, which type of fish they catch, the boats they hire or buy. It was absolutely beautiful.
We ended the day with a delicious meal in Souimanga Lodge and am happy to report that when we made it back to our room, our spider guest showed up again, this time at safe distance perched up on the ceiling. We gracefully closed the door, sprayed the door and stuffed the bottom of the door with towels. Hello shower!
What do you think? How would you deal with a massive spider when in Senegal? Let me know in the comments below.