Dori, January 15, 2009 - Thursday
Trip Start Dec 18, 2008
79Trip End Jan 18, 2009
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I took it relatively easy, attempting to take pictures in the dark to the extent possible. Not that there was much to take photos of anyway. Apart from one mosque along the way, I saw nothing really worth mentioning. But you need to kill time somehow.
And so, I walked slowly through the thick layer of fine sand covering every street of Dori, trudging in general direction where I assumed the gare de routiere should be, when suddenly a motor-bike came up from behind me and stopped right by my side
It was a lady in her mid-thirties. She said something in French which I didn't quite get, but in such cases you don’t need a real knowledge of a language to get what people mean. Plainly, she offered me a lift. She was so kind to a stranger in the early hours of the morning in her town.
„Gare de routiere?" I said.
She motioned me to sit behind her and that was it. A few minutes later she dropped me off at the gate of the bus terminal, adding just another proof to my general conviction that a vast majority of people in every corner of the world, every race, every religion, every nationality are just good and honest human beings.
Naturally, it added some unexpected waiting to the time at the gare de routiere premises, but it was also probably more interesting like that, at least in terms of activities that I witnessed, than what would – or rather wouldn’t – have been going on in those streets outside the town centre.
Also, apart from the mornings in Sahara, this was the coolest morning in Africa so far, and the first one when I myself had put long sleeves on.
Dori was slowly waking up. The activities gradually picked up the pace, at least around the bus terminal. First trucks were being unloaded and first stands were being prepared for vendors to come. And people increasingly started trickling in.
Somehow I was unconcerned about Amadou. Occasionally I would poke my nose outside the terminal and check the street where you could see the „Banque nationale du Burkina“ building. I thought that if he showed up, he should come from there. I also knew very well by now that the concept of appointment, at least in terms of time, had a very loose definition in Africa. So even if he wouldn’t appear by seven, it still didn’t have to mean he wouldn’t appear at all.
And true enough, my hunch served me well.
By the time the sun finally appeared and started shining down on streets of Dori, Amadou turned up and exclaimed:
„There he is!“
He sounded as if he’d been looking for me all over for a while
I grabbed my things and he motioned me to follow him:
„Is the taxi here?“ I asked.
„Yes, we are waiting for you.“
He led me round the corner and there, in one of the side streets, I saw a beat-up „Mitsubishi“ pick-up truck and a number of locals swarming around it.
And Paul and Lois.
„I knew he was talking about you!“ Paul exclaimed with a big smile. We were all of us all smiles, shaking hands with each other and wishing each other good morning.
„When he said he would bring another white foreigner with long hair who was staying in the „Oasis“ hotel because they have hot water there, I knew it would be you!“
Of course, I was not all that surprised myself
However, there was another white guy with Paul and Lois. We shook hands and introduced ourselves.
„Arno,“ he said. He was from the Netherlands. As he was staying in the same hotel as Paul and Lois - and where else would a white tourist in Dori on Thursday morning go? – it was natural that all of them had come here together.
„Is this our car?“ I asked pointing at the „Mitsubishi“ whose bed was already full.
„Yes,“ Paul answered. „But I think they’ll put us in the cabin.“
And that’s exactly what was on my mind. After a ride to Essakane at the back of a pick-up truck, I was glad I didn’t have to repeat the same experience again. True, the four of us had to squeeze in where normally just two people should sit, and three only if you feel charitable and offer someone a ride. But even if we felt like a pack of toothpicks ready for sale, it still beat being back up there where the locals were going to be.
All in all, in quite a good cheer all of us, we started our ride to Gorom-Gorom.