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Kath’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 16 Mar 2008

Location: Bamako, Mali

MapWe spent the day walking around Timbuktoo trying not to breath in the sand being blown everywhere. Even my tent nearly got blown off the top of the hotel where we were sleeping.

From there we headed off for a few more days of driving and bush camps.More waving at the local children. We camped under a huge escarpment, beside a village built into the rocks. Mo and I went for a walk around.I spent half the night sitting out under the stars gazing up in the heavens. Very pretty with no moon.

We headed to back to Sevare and stayed at the same hotel as last time. Relaxing evening packing our bags in preparation of the 3 day trek into the Dogons. The first day was an afternoon hike along the top of the escarpment before a near verticle drop in to the valley and then along through fields of lush greenery till we reached our roof top hotel for the night.

We had dinner and then watch a performance by the local women of a funeral ceremony. It went on for hours and was amazing to watch. whistle blowing, drums beating, women calling out. We sat there watching in awe. Bed time was having to climb up onto the roof via a tree trunk. I counted 4 shooting stars.

The next morning I awoke to find 3 little faces peering at me from the end of my sleeping bag. the local children were on their way to school. African donuts for breakfast before heading out on another massive day of treking through heat, sun and sand. Unfortunately no surf. We walked from village to village looking at the different architecture and speaking in pidgeon african french to the local children. Our next hotel was also on the roof. It was much cooler than on the ground. we lay in our sleeping bags listening to guns being shot and singing and music. It turned out to be a funeral ceremony and it went on all night. Amazing to lie there and listen and watch from afar as the torches being held by dancers were being flung around under the cliffs of the escarpment.

We spent another few days driving through Mali to get to Bamako the capital. Our campsite/hotel was on the edge of the river famous for its mosquitos. I covered myself in deet and they still got me.
We spent 3 nights in Bamako, going to the National Museum, and walking through the markets. Huge city built along the river. We also spent a lot of time lazing beside the pool. What else do you do in 40C heat. I especially enjoyed the view. It was a hangout for the local 'cool' crowd.

We ventured out one night craving red wine and pizza and we found the best pizza outside of Italy. Amazing !!!!!!! I think the red wine added to the experience. It was in the nirth of the city and I had to use all my pidgeon french/african to get us there. It might have helped to know the words for left and right and not to get them confused. hehehe