Trip Start Sep 28, 2005
Trip End Jun 24, 2006

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Flag of Mali  ,
Monday, November 14, 2005

Miles travelled: 17340

We're now in Djenne, which is one of the most picturesque towns in the Sahel portion of West Africa. It's renowned for its mosque, which is the largest mud-brick building in the world. Unfortunately we aren't allowed to go inside, but the structure is quite impressive. Also in Djenne is the famous Monday market, which is a complete cacophony of chaos, smells, and sounds as locals come to sell and trade their wares.

We camped on the roof of a hotel which has architecture in the traditional style, almost castle-like with pointed arches and cut-out half-walls on the roof.

Everywhere we go, even off the beaten tourist path, we are constantly approached by children wanting to hold hands. The more savvy ones say "photo, photo" and then demand "cadeau" (gift). It's simultaneously annoying and sad at the same time.

Tomorrow we're off on the Niger River for a 3-day boat trip up to Timbuktu.
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randstaylor on

Wow. Djenne.
It sounds like the experience of dealing with the begging children, unfortunately, is a seminal experince of this portion of the journey. It's interesting to me, though, that they want to hold hands.

But so much else sounds truly fascinating -- camping on the roof of the hotel -- was that in the open, under the stars? Did it get cold at night? Are there dust storms in town? In the market, what were people selling, what were the local people buying, and what did you buy?

It looks like the sun there is intense. Do you rest or take shelter in the middle of the day? Do the people there take a 'siesta?'

We are thinking of you.

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