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July 6th 2009
Published: July 6th 2009
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Back in Mopti after a five day hike through Dogon Country with Anil and our guide Ibrahim!

1 July

So this lazy day was spent in the pool talking to unattractive British girls and getting soaked in the rain. Anil and I met Ibrahim in the evening. We finalised our plan. We’ll be traveling with two French girls. Sweet! Right?

2 July

When we got to Bandingara there was no sign of the French girls. We leave almost immediately for Douloo (odd?). Apparently the two girls are traveling around West Africa on one 125 cc Honda Motorcycle (very odd?). By this time we are in Douloo and starting to think that these two ladies do not in fact exist. Ibrahim asked for more cash before we start, which was definitely not part of the agreement, but he claims he needs it because the girls didn‘t show. I give him 15,000 CFA. Anil refuses. We hike to another town. The Dogon “animist” religion is f**ked up! We have some millet beer and head to bed after a small altercation with Ibrahim over sleeping space.

3 July

Big altercation with Ibrahim over the other 15,000 CFA from Anil involving much arguing in French. Anil and I decide to cut our losses and quit, but just as we’re about to leave, Ibrahim caves (convinced by the elders perhaps?). So we continue. We see some more towns, eat pounded millet and green fish sauce (urrrgh!) and play walle.

4 July

I drink coffee in the morning made with bad water. A couple hours later I puked my guts out all over some chief’s flower bed in a town where they supposedly practice human sacrifice. After lunch I collapse. I feel awful and sleep most of the day.

5 July

I feel a bit better and we move on to Sanga (the last town). So many very cute kids in Dogon country always asking “Tubabo ca va?”. Most cute was an impromptu children’s choir that appeared. Anil gives me some strong antibiotics at night as I still feel like s**t.

6 July

Another confrontation with Ibrahim in the morning. Apparently he’s spent our money weed and thus we have no ride back! Fortunately he’s sorted out by our reasoning and the village elders who must know that he’s a crook and a pot-head. He comes with us to Mopti where, after a long day of travel, we leave him without a word of good bye!

Final Impressions of the week

Dogon country was interesting, if a bit of a tourist trap. I probably would have enjoyed it more if our guide had not been a hustler (fortunately he was a bad one) and if I had not gotten ill. Glad to have Anil as a companion. Americans and Canucks have a lot in common but also some differences. I had steak and beer to celebrate our arrival and my recovery. I’m not going to go to Timbuktu anymore. It’s too far and not worth it.


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