Mopti and the melting bus
Trip Start Jun 19, 2009
21Trip End Sep 02, 2009
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The markets there are insane! They have EVERYTHING under the sun for sale and they are so incredibly busy. Why is it that everywhere you go in the world (or everywhere I've been, at least..) there can be found Bob Marley and Che Guevara's faces on obscure objects. The heroes of our time, perhaps? It amused me that they've evidently been recently joined by Obama! Obama belts, Obama tshirts, Obama mugs and plates, Obama KNICKERS. Yes, yes I was just a little bit tempted by the pants - and the Obama jeans, to match my Bob ones from Fiji... but I refrained, you'll be pleased to know. I walked through the
Bamako was starting to get on my nerves a bit... it's TOO busy and polluted and I was getting sick of talking about my (fictional, obviously) British boyfriend/fiancÚ/husband (depending on quite how quickly I wanted to be left alone)! Not that this always worked anyway... but all annoying men left eventually! But if they're not wanting to marry you or 'danse le rap!', as a wee Togolese guy (i.e. he looked about 16, but was probably a bit older, I suppose) suggested after announcing he was in love with me (...eh?!), they're wanting to sell you something... NEVER SHOW INTEREST IN ANYTHING! Ahhh I made the mistake of going into someone's shop to see something and was then followed for the next hour by the owner. It's alright, though, for every annoying man wanting to scam you/guide you/marry you, there's probably two who do just genuinely (seem to) want to talk to you or help you. Or practice they're English...
So yesterday, as I said, I left Bamako. On a bus. Which was suppose to be air-conditioned. Well, it wasn't. It was blasting hot air at me. For approximately 10 and a half hours. I have never been so warm in my entire life. It was so much cooler outside than inside even, it must have been at least 40 degrees in that bus! And so stuffy and horrible! It was literally like sitting in a sauna. All the locals were clearly sweltering too. They stopped at one point, for roughly twenty minutes, and the driver's assistant boys had to reattach the door because the plastic bit holding it on was melting. Crazy. He was then chatting to me and getting me to translate some awful dance song from English into French. Bless.
The journey was horrible! The roads are the kind when they just drive straight at each other, horns blaring and obviously waiting for the smaller vehicle to move (which is fine, when you're in a great big bus...). Out of the windows, everything was just flat... everywhere seems to be just dust. There are trees and little shrubs but they look as if someone has just stuck them on, it's strange. We passed lots of little villages made of mud bricks though, they're cute! It was definitely made worse by the fact that they kept trying to play some very broken DVD which, when it wasn't skipping, was basically two people screaming at each other in Bamana (the other official language)!
Destination of that awful journey = Mopti. I'm here but now I'm not sure where I'm going next. It's a nice little town, and it happens to have the nicest hostel in the world ever. Such clean dorms, and it so happens I'm the only person in mine at the moment, so it's just like a giant room! AND IT HAS A POOL! Guess what I'm doing this afternoon...
The town is crawling with hopeful guides wanting to take you into the Dogon country. This is meant to be many people's highlight of Mali but.. I don't think I'll go. I'm really funny about the whole idea of 'polluting the culture' and the whole 'ethnic freak-show' thing that this type of trek tends to end up as... and I wouldn't want to do it on my own... and I want to spend more time in Burkina Faso... so... unless I change my mind, I'll pass!
It's also FAR too hot to trek, I think, max temperature here (and it'd be hotter in the Dogon Country) = 41 degrees. Plus it's meant to rain the next three days (YAY! It might be cooler!!)..
Oh, my hour of over-priced internet is up, I'm off in search of water!