Day 4: Off to the Dogon

Trip Start Jan 10, 2007
Trip End Jan 27, 2007

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

This is less a holiday and more an exercise in sleep deprivation. Spent the night on the hotel roof in what felt like sub-zero temperatures (actually it was about 8 degrees). I had no sleeping bag or blanket and my silk sleep sheet and mosquito net weren't really up to the job! Using my wet towel, a sarong and 2 t-shirts, I put up a reasonable fight, but it did cross my mind I might freeze to death in the Sahara! However, I make it through to 6am and only 25mins late (bang on, Mali time) Boubakar (Bouba for short) shows up and we head off to Dogon country.
Talk about beaming down to a different planet! Forget about there not being any electricity - the landscape, the vegetation, the architecture, the people, even the air makes this place other-worldly, as sand storms gust past.  Manage to rattle off three films straight away and have to force myself to stop.

We trek to Teli village through sand and Baobab trees and explore the ancient pygmy cliff village (above) and surrounding plain (below), before ending the day at Ende-Toro, Bouba's home village.

I'm now writing this as dusk approaches, in a tent on Bouba's mud hut roof. Camp fires are being lit and paraffin lamps come out as bare-breasted women return from the fields with bowls on heads and babies slung round backs. And in the background chatter, bongo drums have begun to pound as a local wedding dance starts to kick-off. It doesn't get much more African than that. And tonight, I've got a blanket!
By the way, I met a French traveller called Frank along the way who is interested in the Lac Débo trip - watch this space.
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