Trip Start Sep 13, 2006
31Trip End Ongoing
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After a nocturnal bus ride, we arrived at the Burkina border where the guards were the nicest and most polity people imaginable. After the formalities we continued to Bobo where I spent the next four days doing next to nothing. However one day walking back from the market, who was walking the other way? But my good friend, 'the hairy Swede' Thomas.
After sharing adventure stories we realized we both had similar plans, so joined forces with a polish dude and headed south-west to a little town called Banfora. After two hours we'd walked around town and went in search of food
The next day we got ourselves a motorbike and rode a total of six hours. First, two hours along a sandy track to the Sindou peaks. An outcrop of supposingly spectacular rock formations which I thought were a bit ho-hum compared to the hype around them. But thoroughly enjoyed being back on a motorbike. Same day saw us ride three hours to the cascades of Kargiguéle washing off the daily grime in natural pools with a setting sun as a backdrop.
The final day at Banfora, we walked 2 hours under a cruel sun to Lake Tengrélé. On arrival we were waiting for an oar and found a young girl lying under a tree. Suffering from some terrible disease, she was skinny as a stick wrapped paper thin skin. Her face looked 90 years old and her bottom eye lids drooped revealing blood red inflamed skin. I don't think she had long to live. I gave her peanuts which she couldn't possibly chew and left in a small canoe across water lilies towards a family of yawning hippopotamuses
Our time in Banfora drew to an end and we bus-ed it to the capital of Burkina-Faso with its cool name Ouagadougou. Here the plan was to attend the pan African film festival called Fespaco. Fifteen euros for an all film pass and 9 days of movie watching. Modelled on French cultural export but bundled with African time and technical expertise the experience was a mitigated success.
One film I started watching began in colour turned to black and white before the sound cut out and the subtitles came on in Haitian Creole. To continue watching is only so interesting. Yet apart from a couple of blockbusters being dubbed in French to the disappointment of my Anglophone film watching posse, the majority of films worked ok. That is if you don't consider delays.
I did however see a wide range of films and docos but at the end realised that for an African to finance his film project, they need to obtain grants from Europe or America who seem to pay out only for the African plight theme
Ouagadougou was pleasant but limited regarding sight seeing. I spent most of my time with my backpacker gang and Jessica, a very nice documentary producer from New York. The majority of gang members were heading to Ghana, this region's backpacker's Mecca. But the 'Hairy Swede' and I are off to Niamey in Niger where he's to enter Benin and I'm going north east back into the Sahara.