Day 43: off-road to Bamako

Off-road you say? 187 km. in 8 hours we reply! Entering Mali, I was thinking about staying for 2 days in Kayes and after proceeding to Bamako. Akis had his own plan so we combined them today and so we started from Kayes but from the old road to Bamako, via the Senegal river. I don’t know if this was the right decision but truth is that we did just 187 km. in hours driving through huge mud holes. Poor Discovery, I was so petty about it today, even if Akis said he treated it well…

The day didn’t start so well because we both were pretty nervous, each for his reason. We had an idea about the road to follow, but on the road everybody asked, had his own idea. It was unbelievable how many villages we visited in this off-beaten track. Beautiful villages with mud huts, smiling people and adorable kids. In one village they were vaccinating them, when we visited them. After this we were no more nervous, despite the road became even worse.

Finally, we arrived at the coast of the Senegal river, and the boat came to take us. Akis bargained hard the price, and from 20.000 CFA we paid only 7.000, so we arrived to Bafoulabe, at the opposite side of the river. We found a dirty but cheap camping right at the center (3.000 CFA) and a plate of local pasta for 200 CFA each. There is a real party atmosphere here, because of the elections of July 1st. Music, dance and everybody wear t-shirts with the candidates printed on. It’s the first night we feel in Africa 100%. From Bafoulabe, good night everybody!_V.Netu


Friday 22/6/2007  
Total km.: 11.127
Day km.: 187
Overnight: Maggiolina, Camping Bafoulabe, Mali
Tip of the day: Off-road in Africa means 25 km/h average speed
Highlight of the day: the Discovery on the barge crossing the Senegal river.