Mali pt. 2 // Burkina Faso!

The road from Bamako to the border with Burkina Faso was long, undulating and probably the hottest yet – often requiring having a little afternoon sleep in roadside restaurant shacks. Our days were long and repetitious: morning, hot, rice, staring kids, sleep, hot, cooler, tent, bed. We were excited to reach Burkina Faso and the surprisingly tropical feel to the forested south-west was a welcome break from the scorched brush of the highway.

We’re very grateful to have received a few donations for the compost toilet already! Please visit this page for more information about how you can help with a sanitation project in southern Ghana.

The usual crowd of inquisitive children

The usual crowd of inquisitive children

A nice camping spot under a tree

A nice camping spot under a tree

... with a scorpion under Mike's tent!

… with a scorpion under Mike’s tent!

After 4 long, hot days slogging from Bamako to  Sikasso, the last big town we'd visit in Mali, we were exhausted and filthy. After a long stressful search through busy, polluted streets we couldn't find anywhere cheap to stay. A last thought - "lets try at that Catholic Mission!" Turns out one of the Fathers there, Jean-Baptiste, had met us at one of the breakfast stalls on the way. We flopped on large comfortable sofas  while Jean poured us glasses of ice cold water from a jug. "Your room is being prepared" he said. We sat, knackered and dazed, surveying the wonderfully kitsch Christian ornaments and posters that post -colonial Catholic missions do so well.  Another smiling priest arrived, opened a bottle of wine and poured us two large glasses.

After four long, hot days slogging from Bamako to Sikasso, the last big town we’d visit in Mali, we were exhausted and filthy. After a stressful search through busy, polluted streets we couldn’t find anywhere cheap to stay. A last thought – “let’s try at that Catholic Mission!”
Turns out one of the Fathers there, Jean-Baptiste, had met us at one of the breakfast stalls on the way. We flopped on large comfortable sofas while Jean poured us glasses of ice cold water from a jug. “Your room is being prepared” he said. We sat, knackered and dazed, surveying the wonderful ornaments, holographic posters and other paraphernalia. Another smiling priest arrived, opened a bottle of wine and poured us two large glasses with ice cubes. Our room was great, after a cold shower and a change into cleanish clothes we descended to eat dinner with the priests. Rice, green stuff, “To” (like polenta), and a whole chicken with chips. It really was like on a film where a weary traveller ends up at a strange house to find they are expected and a fantastic feast is waiting. We gorged, and then gorged on mangos before going to bed for a long, excellent sleep. 

Something Waterfall

The Chutes de Farako. Running a bit low now as it’s the end of the dry season. 

It seems that most occasions, but particularly marriages, are accompanied with crazy processions of honking mopeds wheeling around the town.

It seems that most occasions, but particularly marriages, are accompanied with crazy processions of honking mopeds wheeling around the town.

Ladies panning for gold and doing laundry

Ladies panning for gold and doing laundry

We have reached Burkina Faso! Here we turned off the tarmac highway to head through the tropical forested southwest.

We have reached Burkina Faso! Here we turned off the tarmac highway to head through the tropical forested southwest.

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This is actually fairly small on the spider scale

This is actually fairly small on the spider scale

GIANT MILLIPEDE!

GIANT MILLIPEDE!

We visited Sindou Pics, an incredible formation of eroded sandstone.

We visited Sindou Pics, an incredible formation of eroded sandstone.

Zak has bought a traditional vest thing.

Zak has bought a traditional vest thing.

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We went on a boat ride to see some hippos on Lac Tengrela. Sadly our camera died just as we got up to them - hippos are enormous!  Some nearby kids were splashing around in the water, but the hippos didn't seem to mind. On our return to shore the boat man surreptitiously crafted this necklace from a water-lily for Alice, she has since become his boat wife and Zak will now continue the journey alone.

We went on a boat ride to see some hippos on Lac Tengrela. Sadly our camera died just as we got up to them – hippos are enormous! Some nearby kids were splashing around in the water, but the hippos didn’t seem to mind. On our return to shore the boat man surreptitiously crafted this necklace from a water-lily for Alice, she has since become his boat wife and Zak will now continue the journey alone.

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