上記の広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。
新しい記事を書く事で広告が消せます。


Last night Bebe and I stayed in a village called Ireli, a few kilometers North East of Tireli where I saw the amazing mask dance yesterday.
Bebe made special Malian pancakes for me this morning. He called them pancakes, but they looked and tasted like doughnuts to me. They were deep-fried and quite sweet: sugary-sweet. The pancakes actually turned out to be timely because I was craving a bit of sweet stuff for breakfast anyway. The only pity was that I didn't take any photos of these "pancakes" then.

Today was the third day and the last day of my Dogon hiking. My backpack was light and I was feeling good with those sweet pancakes in my belly.

20120122_01_Dogon_Hiking.jpg

We walked through a small Dogon village and made a short-cut by ascending along a slope of an enormous escarpment.
It was really "enormous" as shown in the photo below.

20120122_06_Dogon_Hiking.jpg

I spotted some caves over the face of this escarpment. They were clearly visible even from afar and were apparently dug by pygmies a long time ago: pygmies are said to have inhabited around here even before the ancestors of today's Dogon people arrived here. Their cave-houses still remain intact but completely deserted today. Bebe told me that they moved out here and were now living in and around Cameroon.

20120122_04_Dogon_Hiking.jpg


Today's hike was only for a couple of hours in the morning and we arrived in Sangha - the last stop for our hike - just before midday.

20120122_07_Dogon_Hiking.jpg

20120122_08_Dogon_Hiking.jpg

Sangha is located about 30km east from Bandiagara.
I was strolling around the village of Sangha after lunch for sight-seeing, while Bebe was frantically looking for a means for both of us to go back to Bandiagara. It seemed that he couldn't find anybody in the village who needed to go to Bandiagara today until one local truck driver showed up. The driver was going to go to Bandiagara in the afternoon with two things to be done before leaving:
1 ) To load some empty barrels onto the back of his truck
2 ) To replace a big-fat flat tyre with another big-fat tyre

20120122_11_Dogon_Hiking.jpg

I asked Bebe if he and the driver needed some help for these two heavy duties, he said: "No! Don't worry. You sit and wait!" So I was just standing with lovely local kids around the truck and we all kept watching the guys to finish their jobs.

20120122_09_Dogon_Hiking.jpg

20120122_10_Dogon_Hiking.jpg


The truck-ride was so bumpy, not only because of the crappy suspensions of the truck, but also because of the poorly maintained road: it was literally a bush-road with bumps and dents everywhere. It was so gravel....

20120122_12_Dogon_Hiking.jpg


When the truck driver dropped us off at Bandiagara, it was almost 17pm and then another problem emerged. There weren't enough passengers for a bush-taxi in Bandiagara to go back to Mopti where I was hoping to stay tonight. This meant that I patiently had to wait for more people to show up. In the worst scenario this bush-taxi might decide not go at all until tomorrow morning. Ahh....
Well, my Dogon hike wasn't an organised tour by any company. It was carried out independently by just signing a hand-written paper contract between Bebe and me. Therefore, a thing like this could easily happen!

Bebe walked down to the street and started asking some local boys with motorbikes to find out if any one of them could give me a ride to Mopti. And Bebe, a true Bandiagara local, found one guy for me!


20120122_13_Dogon_Hiking.jpg

The above photo shows me with Bebe just before I took off for Mopti with the motorbike guy.
By the way, Bebe is looking for a "foreign girlfriend" at the moment. If you think he is hot, give me an email, I'll pass it on to him.


20120122_15_Dogon_Hiking.jpg

The bike guy drove me to Mopti without any problems and it was just after 20pm when I checked in at a hotel, I was so exhausted but very happy and satisfied with the completion of my hiking in Dogon Country. Without Bebe, I couldn't have done it on my own. Thanks very very much, Bebe!




スポンサーサイト

Not many people know this: Djenne is famous for the world's largest mud-made mosque, registered as a UNESCO world heritage site. And to see this so-called "The Great Mosque of Djenne" was one of my main reasons for coming to Mali. The below are the details of how I travelled between Mopti and Djenne:


I should have arrived in Mopti's main bush-taxi terminal much much earlier, but I just finished my Dogon hike late yesterday and I was slow as well as lazy this morning. I turned up there around 8:30am, which is still early enough to catch a local bus in many countries, but not in Mali. The first bush taxi for Djenne had already gone a couple of hours earlier and I had to wait for a long time this morning for the next bush taxi to go.

An hour passed (9:30am).

Another hour passed (10:30am).

Nothing was happening....

By 11am there were only 6 people waiting for Djenne - three Malian people, two German women and me. My patience was nearly running out while the Malian people didn't seem to mind waiting forever. In fact, one of the German women and I even tried to convince the driver to leave for Djenne but no success: there had to be more than 14 to 15 passengers to completely fill the bush-taxi. It was very unlikely that another 8 to 9 people would turn up in the next hour.... In the end what the two German women and I decided to do was that we paid XOF10,000 each (about USD20.00) for the remaining empty seats. The fare for a bush-taxi from Mopti to Djenne is normally between XOF2,250 and 2,500 per person. Thus, three of us paid extra XOF7,500 each in order to hurry our departure.

Finally, Our bush-taxi set off for Djenne at 11:30am. However, what was utterly absurd then was that as soon as we left Mopti, our bush-taxi got full. I then wanted to have a serious argument with the driver only if my French were good enough....
What did we pay the extra XOF7,500 for?! We were just ripped off.


20120123_00_to_Djenne.jpg


There was a fee to be paid (XOF1,000 per person) just before we reached Djenne. I was given a ticket in exchange for the fee then, but nobody checked my ticket later on when I was in Djenne. Again, what was it for....?!

After two hours on the road, we reached Niger River and we had to take a boat with our bush-taxi on it to cross the river. Then I wondered if crossing this river would ever be possible in wet season (it was dry season in Mali now).


20120123_02_to_Djenne.jpg

20120123_01_to_Djenne.jpg


We arrived in Djenne around 14pm. Huh.... And I could easily spot the Great Mosque, a mud-made mosque, as it stood up right beside the bush taxi terminal in the middle of the town.


20120123_05_Djenne.jpg


The Great Mosque was very impressive and unique in terms of its size and design. It wasn't massive, but as it's said to be the world's largest, it was definitely making nearby pedestrians look tiny.


20120123_06_Djenne.jpg

20120123_07_Djenne.jpg


This remarkable design must be inextricably linked to the use of mud for the entire building. If other materials such as wood and concrete had ever been used, this mosque would have looked completely different.


20120123_11_Djenne_Market.jpg

20120123_14_Djenne.jpg


Djenne is a small town in Niger Delta and is associated with a long history of the trans-Saharan trade.
Apparently, salt, gold, and even slaves used to be traded in and around this area, but today I saw none of these. Instead I saw a local Monday-market being held right in front of the mosque where people were selling all kinds of things such as flash-lights, calculators, jewelery, doughnuts, vegetables, fruits, bread, goats, etc etc.


20120123_15_Djenne_Market.jpg


The Monday market was busy, extremely busy and just busy! It was being held right in front of the mosque and I was unable to take a photo of this spectacular mosque without any street vendors or pedestrians crossing.


20120123_18_Djenne_Market.jpg


As the super busy market was about to close before dusk, a lot of people started packing up and a couple of bush taxis were getting ready for Mopti then. I wouldn't mind staying in Djenne for a couple of days to observe this mosque more and to stroll around this lovely town, but I'd left all my luggage at a hotel in Mopti and I wasn't 100% sure if a bush-taxi was running to Mopti every single day, so I decided to go back there today. Fortunately, I waited "only one hour" for my bush-taxi to Mopti this time.


20120123_19_Djenne_Market.jpg


On my way back to Mopti, there was one drunken Malian guy who sat next to me in the van. He actually threatened me by saying: "Give me money now. Otherwise, I'll kill you...." It's a long story and I don't go into details here: in short, he was just a looser and was kicked out by one of the big bush-taxi drivers afterwards. Hahaha.

20120123_21_Djenne_Sunset.jpg

In the end, I made it back to Mopti safely and I'm going back to Bamako tomorrow morning.




Today's bus-ride from Mopti back to Bamako is the last one to be had on my quest in Mali as I'm NOT gonna take a bus for going back to Dakar. I'm gonna FLY instead!
The bus company was ATT (Africa Tours Trans) - the same company and the same fare as before when I travelled from Bamako to Mopti a week ago. The only difference this time compared to the last time was that today's bus was very old without ACs and it was packed! I was only hoping that the bus was not going to break down on our way.

The bus left Mopti around 7am. It didn't break down and arrived in Bamako just before 17pm. However, there were two minor incidents on our way and they should be written out in this article.


20120124_01.jpg


***** 1st Incident *****
It happened when the bus nearly reached Segou, a decent-size city between Bamako and Mopti. I was just looking outside through the window when I suddenly heard a bang.
The bus quickly slowed down and then I saw a big cow violently spinning upside-down on the ground. Obviously, our bus hit this cow and a few villagers were running amok towards the cow to rescue it.
I was hoping that the bus driver was going to stop for this cow and also to inspect any damage on the bus, but he only slowed down for a few seconds and left the scene as if nothing had happened.
I felt so guilty afterwards as I witnessed the spinning cow, but we did nothing for it.


***** 2nd Incident *****
It happened when the bus was going halfway between Segou and Bamako. The road was super bumpy and I started feeling like I was experiencing a small earthquake on the bus.
As the bus kept on going on the super bumpy road, the ceiling of our bus started shaking and making some funny noise. Then all of a sudden, a steel-cover of the air-conditioner attached to the ceiling fell right onto my head!
For a few seconds, I couldn't comprehend what had just happened to me, but I knew something fell right onto my head because the steel-cover came down in front of my eyes.
The luckiest thing was that I had my sun-glasses on my head then. So the steel-cover hit the glasses but not my head.
I didn't get hurt in the end and I was just laughing so hard at myself.


These two incidents thoroughly reminded me of the three simple words:

" This is Africa! "


20120124_02.jpg




Back in Bamako, I slept in a tent at the front-yard of the Sleeping Camel last night because their dormitory was full, but it was surprisingly comfortable and I slept well.

20120125_01.jpg


That border-crossing bus was such a trauma for me (Refer to the past article for more details). Therefore, I left this landlocked country by air, even though flying cost me five times more than the bus.


20120125_02.jpg


Air Burkina was the airline that I flew with today, and there was a bit of a drama with a Malian custom officer when I checked in at the airport. He kept asking me all kinds of questions such as "Why did I come to Mali by land?", "Where do I have an entry stamp?", "Do I have an yellow-fever vaccination certificate?" etc etc. He was clearly corrupted!

Although it was a short-distance flight, an in-flight meal was provided as shown in the photo below. It was very basic and mediocre.


20120125_03.jpg


Okay! This is it for my time in Mali and I'll be back in Dakar for more surfing.
Mali was very unique and very hot! The only regret I now have is that I did not go to Timbuktu - a legendary town located in the north of Niger River and the gateway to the Sahara desert.
Like the famous saying goes, Timbuktu seemed so faraway to me.... Oh well, maybe next time!


20120125_04.jpg


Next Destination >>>




20120203_00a_NgorRight.jpg


It was so good to be back in N'Gor island after travelling through all those dry bushlands in Mali for two weeks.
I again stayed at Jesper's surf camp for 10 days while in Senegal. It was quite windy and chilly most of the days, but we still had a couple of big days - 6ft+ on a set with light offshore winds blowing.
The below are some of the photos taken at N'Gor Right on one of those big days.


20120203_00b_NgorRight.jpg

20120203_00c_NgorRight.jpg

20120203_00d_NgorRight.jpg


Instead of getting sea-urchin's thorns on my feet I got a nasty gashing when my right foot just slightly touched a rock in the water. N'Gor Right is always notorious enough for me.


20120203_00e_NgorRight.jpg


Despite the fact that surfing in Senegal was introduced to the rest of the world a few decades ago by the film - Endless Summer, the population of local surfers is very small: I'm not including those grumpy white Frenchies in the count. Nevertheless, the standard of these local surfers is quite high and some of them are very stylish.


20120203_01_NgorRight.jpg

20120203_02_NgorRight.jpg

20120203_03_NgorRight.jpg

20120203_04_NgorRight.jpg


Even in this part of Africa the temperature goes down quite a bit during the night in January. So does the water-temperature in the sea. I had a 2/2 wet-suit and it was tolerable in December but not in January. It has to be at least 3/2 or even thicker.


20120203_05_NgorRight.jpg

Cold-water surfing without a good wet-suit isn't really fun. I miss my high-tech Japanese wet-suit now.

20120203_06_NgorRight.jpg

20120203_07_NgorRight.jpg






QR
上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。