Entering Mali ... an adventure on itself ...

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Where I stayed
On the border of the Senegal River

Flag of Mali  ,
Sunday, November 13, 2011

After a good night of sleep, we woke up at 6.30 (which is the average wake-up call every day :-) to drive to the neighbourhood of Kayes in Mali !
 
Easy piste and road (still watching out for the big holes) to the border of Mali ... 
Once arrived there, it was not quite the same as we know in Europe ... trucks, cars, buses, small shops - already kilometers in advance were alongside the road ... waiting for repair or the obligatory papers to cross the border itself, shops selling all kinds of stuff, fuel .... a crazy atmosphere because you see people everywhere running around or simply doing nothing ... and the closer you get to the border, the more it gets crowded and you have to find your way through all this crazyness ...

At a certain moment, the road was blocked ... so we looked for an alternative way to get to the border office ... nothing in front, nothing in the back was possible ... the only way was getting down the slope, almost 40 of angle down to an small passageway through the barracks build near the road ... so down we went ... and arrived at the border-office ...
 
To get our paperwork more easily done ... we already gave our passports to the organisation so they could arrange the "laisser-passer" for the cars to leave Senegal ... a must have to arrange your own validation of visum for Mali ...
But ... because it is sunday ... the cost for all this is not 5000CFA but 15000CFA ... and it goes a lot slower than normally .... "c'est dimanche hein mossieur et c'est l'Afrique" ...
 
Finally we managed to get everything done, but the temperature outside and the heat of the engine killed temporarily our ignition ... getting up the slope again was impossible. The engine was coughing and running very badly ... so no power and no go ...
Luckily we found the "problem" quite fast and it was easily repaired !
We could continue our way ...
 
As Charly, my co-driver-navigator-traveller, was driving I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the other cars ... with some nice results !
 
End of the evening we arrived at the bivouac, a beautiful area nearby a village ... alongside some small falls on the border of the Senegal-river !!
  
As we had a long very hot day behind us, we took the opportunity to go for a small swim before dinner ! The heat not only killed the car temporarily ... but I was also quite exhausted and wanted to go to sleep as quickly as possible ... of course no lunch at 12.00 didn't help ...
 
Anyway, after dinner, I felt better and we still did our obligatory check of the car ! A must to continue without to many surprises the next day which was announced as the toughest of the whole trip ... a small distance to drive but with quite some difficulties ... 
 
To be continued ...









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Comments

waxel on

ge moet nu bijna aangekomen zijn ...
hope everything worked all right.
can't wait to hear the stories or see the pictures
and beware of the nightly knocks on the door :-)

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