When The Sea Ruled The Land
For 100 million years, sea deposited a thick layer of sediment that today is the Gambia. Then around 35 million BC, the climate became dry, the water withdrew everywhere with the exception of a few lakes, and sedimentary rocks thickened the first layer of marine deposits. Thirty million years later they disintegrated, creating the layer of late rite through which the river gradually began winding its way from Fouta Jallon to the sea.
Today, blood-red late rite cliffs rise above the river in some places. They may not be very high, but time and water have carved them into spectacular sigh. The battle between wet and dry range on. Sometime, torrential rains swell the river, whose rapids dug a deep bed. Other times, salt water filled cavities left behind by partly Ėevaporated fresh water, driving back the riverís flow all to the site of present-day Jang Jang Bureh.
These violent movement changed the Gambiaís course, lower than itís today during some periods. They contributed to soilís richness, continuously depositing new layer of sediment. This long history turned the Gambia into the quite, fertile garden that it is today.
The clash between the riverís flow and the oceanís tide has calmed down, at least for the time being, because god knows what changes the earth might have in store for us. The tide which flows upriver twice a day, still puts its stamp on the Gambiaís time and landscape, giving them their personality.
For example, at Tendaba, which is around 100 kilometres from the river swells up in the evening and shrinks to a central corridor lined by muddy banks in the morning, that might come as a surprise to people who are unaware that the tide flows from 150kilometers upriver all the way to Kuntaur. The mangroves, which cannot live without the tidesĒ ebb and flow, are irrefutable evident that the water is salty.