Bamako again


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, we felt even more lost after you left and will keep your kindness in our hearts forever.

 Our last supper with Reinout and Renate in Mali with our Ghanian friend whom we met in the restaurant

Thank you also to our dear friends in SA who were pillars of strength all the way. We are so sorry that we are testing your friendship to the hilt and like my sister says, we truly are keeping all of you on your knees. I would love to mention special people who kept on sending sms messages and phoned all the time regardless of the time and cost, but you know who you are and you will all receive boundless good karma, we know. Also to my sister Joleen, and Bianca and Leigh who took such good care of our precious Zack whilst in hospital with his operation (this happened at the same time) we do not have words to thank you. Also, for still looking after him at home. Caron, thank you for arranging the basket to ensure him of our love and support and to all of you that went there, thank you so much. The fact that life goes on for all your loved ones is part of what makes a trip like this hard, but as always there are shining stars that lighten your load and just step in without expecting anything in return.


So here we are, still in the same place and with no idea what to do next. This is a time when all our philosophies of “Why worry” , “good will come out of this” , “at least we have each other” and “worldly goods mean nothing” are all truly tested. There is no way we can lie and say that it was easy to accept what has happened and to move on, it was, and still at times is, hard, but we are getting there and we do say thank you all the time for the fact that we were saved, the fact that we have each other, the fact that we have support and loved ones, the fact that we got so many invites from friends and family in CT to come and stay for as long as we like.  

In the words of Pieter vd Westhuizen "nothing wrong with no money and a tin of tuna for supper, it is the company you keep that matters!"  At least we had wine to go with it!


The factual situation is that the Stan is only insured for balance of 3rd Party as no SA insurance company wanted to insure it for West Africa, the car seems to be a write off even though mechanically it is still perfect, to have the wreck send to SA cost R50 000(which we do not have), it seems highly unlikely that we will be able to fix it here as true to form, the OFFICIAL LANDROVER DEALER was ONCE AGAIN NO help, they were not even prepared to look for a replacement windscreen!!! The other problem is that all the cars here are LHD, so basically we are hoping for a miracle that someone will buy it “:as is” for a ridiculous amount. If not, well, we will have to deal with it. But we just cannot afford to have it shipped to Cape Town. As sad as we are to say goodbye, Stan will have to stay behind in Mali. We will truly miss him as he has been the most important part of our journey, he has been our home for the past 4 and a half months, he has provided shelter, heartache, laughs, pain, frustration and when most needed, has been as strong as an ox and got us through the most atrocious roads in Africa. Thank you STANRUZA. At this stage, we have no idea why our beautiful journey had to end like this, we wish so much that it was different, but we have to accept that we are not always in complete control. All we can hope for is that one day we will understand.


In the meantime, after lots of enquiries, we managed to find a company that can freight our personal goods to Johannesburg. Once we found this, our minds were made up and we immediately bought plane tickets home to Cape Town.

 Buying recycled metal crates to frieght our goods in( felt like getting in myself!)

 The best of all is that we will fly to Dakar and spend Tuesday afternoon and evening there. Yippeee, at least we can finish this part of our journey at the western most point of Africa!!!! Well, our means of transport will not be the same as originally planned, but at least we will be there for a while. We do not say that our journey is over as both of us have been fully converted into true travelers.We know this, as one of the solutions we were seriously considering was to see if we cannot swap Stan for one of the local taxis and use that to at least get to Morocco!!!! Mad or what….??? but that is what Africa does to you , you become an addict and we know that this is the way it will be from now on. The world is huge and there are vast areas out there still to be visited and explored!


We will report further from Dakar where after we will keep you informed of our future plans before we say goodbye from this part of our journey.