rootsinafrica's blog

So long to West Africa......for now

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So, here we are, back “home “again, feeling somewhat sad, somewhat overwhelmed, somewhat excited, somewhat lost ….a whole combination of emotions somehow reminiscent of our time spend traveling…..no middle road, always extremes. But that is the path we took, and despite the toughness, the life we chose to embrace, so now is the time to “walk the talk”

Dakar

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Despite our baggage being woefully overweight, the flight from Bamako to Dakar was uneventful.  We had eventually made it to the westernmost point of Africa, although  unfortunately not under our own steam.

Bamako again

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We made Bamako in good time and thank goodness, found a great hotel at a special price with a very helpful manager. The best part of arriving here at Hotel Chaumier was to see the friendly faces of our friends Reinout and Renate again. They have been incredibly supportive and helped us in any way possible. They were shoulders to cry on, sympathetic listeners, they cried with us and laughed with us. Thank you so much guys, you were rays of sunshine,

Our sadest moment

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I have no idea how to convey the next day and every word I write is hurting my heart, but there is no other way to convey the information, so here we go.

 

Bamako

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We arrived in Bamako on time to go to the museum after we impressed ourselves with our navigation skills by driving straight to the hotel despite the normal African city madness of Bamako. We checked in to Hotel Tamana in the hippodrome area (still to this day have not seen the famous hippodrome…does it actually exist?) and got into a taxi to take us to the National Museum of Mali.

Segou

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The town of Segou lies on the banks of the Niger River, and is also an historically significant town , for being the centre of many ancient empires that relied on the river as a trade route.

Djenne

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The river town of Djenne was founded in 800 AD as a fishing village, with the Bozo tribe predominant (no, not clowns, fisherman!). It is now famous for its Grand Mosque, a mosque having existed there since the 13th century. The current Mosque and surrounding town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988.

 

Mopti

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After an uneventful overnight stay in Bankass, we left for Mopti the next morning, driving through the same area we had hiked, before climbing up and over the escarpment. We were heading for the Dogon town of Bandiagara, as we had met another Dutch traveler the night before, Gimon, who was leaving the next morning for the Dogon hike. He had all his worldly possessions in his rucksack, and so we offered to drop off his excess baggage at a hotel in

Dogon country

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Our time in Mali started on a very sad note, with life proving hard for many loved ones at home, which in turn saddened us a lot. Dear little Kloe was run over by a car and ended up in ICU for several days with her life hanging by a thread, Zack’s shoulder operation turned out to be a much bigger one than we thought, and he had a real

Border to Bankass

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We left our campsite which we thought might be in Mali, still in search of the border post. We finally found it just before the village of Koro and the mysterious Mali captured our imagination right from the start. Nowhere else have we seen such

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