Mali, the land of Gold and now the land of music.
The time I spent in Mali was very short about two weeks, but I saw a lot and managed to relax very well in a few places. I spent a nice 5 days in Bamako, the capital, a very messy but lively busness, went to a cool night club, very local, lets say. Another highlight was cruising up the Niger River for 3 days on our way back from Timbucktoo!!! a great place to have managed to get to, and YES it was still hard to get to and an unforgetable ordeal even in 2008!!! so Believe the rumors. je je.
Though I had minor stomach complaints on the Niger river, we had a private cruise on Pinasse, a local for of wide canoe type thing, and the group of 4 was in had it to ourselves, including comfortable table and even bathroom (well that's streaching it a bit) but we could go privately he he, and so, I had the perfect place to recover, watching the villages go by, saw some hippos, lovely birds, and generally saw life float by.
Unfogetable moment: was feeling really weak,
and the boat stopped by everyone washing in the river, the sun was ferocious, I just lay down in the descently comfortable cuishened benches and dozed lightly. the sun moved arround as the boat floated here and there and the shore went from here to there, very pleasently and not at all nausciously. Then I notice half a meter of boat sticking accoss my face. the next door boat had drifted into ours, and accross me. So I streached out my very weak arm, and with the lightest touch we separated and floated in opposite directions, with almost no friction at all. the combination of my weekness, the relativity of where I was in relation to the shore and opposite reaction produced immediately and flawlessly, was enough to send me right into space, floating in nothing and looking into the blue sky, feeling the wood from a hand carved boat under my fingers, and feelinf the hot light of our local sol, our own little super nova star hitting my skin with unimaginable force, coming as it does from millions of kilometers away in the cold empty space.
My second favorite memory comes later int eh day, still on the boat, it was late, and we had stayed too long in one of the ports. so we arrived to the camping beach in the darkest of nights. I had gone up to the roof and was laying on my back. exhausted but also marvellind at the clearest view of the milkyway in years. The whole round sky covering and circling me to an extent as to highlight the isolated nature of our own little planet in that empty coldness. And so it was that we approached the shore, the motors went off, and we floated in space, each body in its own speed, each body with it's own spin and acceleration. Bodies of me and of Terra and of Sol, loose in space and all pulling at each other. And pushing eachother. The beauty of it all was just not grater for it can't be streached to infinnity. Or that is our current understanding of physics, who knows what we will discover tomorrow at CERN.
Well guys thanks for indulging me once more. I have to say Dogon Coutry is very special before I log off, we walked there for 4 days amongst very nice villages, in another time completely, where each flower portion for each morning's bread has to be ground by hand with stone tools, where cotton becomes fabric and then garment all in the same village, without travelling 80.000km combined before becoming something recognizable, where the kids play at night with torches, and dance in front of the village cheif's house. But where Coca cola, was chilled in half the stops, and bottled water available for a just price. The rocks and stones I saw were fantastic and I hope to share some photos with you guys soon.
Lots of love, Doug.
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