Blogs from Mopti, Dogon Country, Mali, Africa

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Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti February 22nd 2011

1/1/2011 - day in Mopti On arrival in Mopti we were met by our tour organiser - who would accompany us on the river and festival sections of the tour. This was a good opportunity for some down time and washing. Four of us decided to take a walk around the town before dinner and while it is a major town in Mali - it didn't really hold anything special for us. The main area of interest was the Mosque, and we were invited up onto people's roofs to get a better view of the Mosque. "No charge" they say, but, you don't get anything for free and on the way up the stairs onto one roof we passed a little area set aside for making local handicrafts. So you know that you are going to ... read more
Riverbank Mopti including your washing.
Street scene Mopti.
Sample of the boats in the river at Mopti

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti January 12th 2011

We left beautiful dusty Djenne hoping to be reunited with our luggage sometime today - not sure what the plans are - but something will work out. We had to re-cross the Niger River again to continue onto Dogon country and we shared this experience with a lot of people still making their way home from the market. It appears that there is always a line up and quite a long wait to get across the river and we will do this many times in this trip. While waiting in line one 4 wheel drive vehicle pushed in front of everyone and a great scene developed as one of the guys that we are travelling with stood in front of this vehicle and wouldn't let them onto the ferry........this vehicle was trying to by pass lots ... read more
Dogon artifacts
Starting point Dogon country
Micheal checking out the way down

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti November 4th 2009

Geo: 14.4804, -4.19001We made our way from Djenne to Mopti to start our journey to Timbuktu. Mopti is the typical launch point for all those lost souls who think that you have to visit Timbuktu at least once in your life. The options for getting there are numerous. You could fly (not only is this notoriously unreliable, doesn't this miss the point of Timbuktu??), drive (we're planning to drive back, but the mystic of Timbuktu demands a more time consuming adventure to get there), take a public ferry (again, very unreliable and based on the one we saw, the only thing holding it together was the rust), public pinasse, or private pinasse. Not only is the private pinasse far less crowded, you control your own journey and are able to stop in villages along the way ... read more
Mopti Harbour
Mopti Harbour
Mopti Harbour

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti July 6th 2009

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 ... read more

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti June 30th 2009

Well another night out with Yousouf and Arnaud last night. Met a Colonel in the Malian Army who seemed to like me and hooked me up with contacts in Timbuktu. Also he’s a good contact to have. Yousouf finally let me pay for a round (not that I was trying too hard to) and also gave me a CD. An early rise, a bit rough, and I was on the bus all day. I actually met Anil on the bus, which was good so we went to a better hotel than we’d planned in Mopti. Many annoying “guides”, but I can’t blame them as people are so poor here --- well not Yousouf, but most. I feel bad for the children, especially the girls. I am embarrassed of the obscene opulence in which I live relative ... read more

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti April 27th 2009

The road to Mopti was...eternal? Yeah, that's a good word for it! Long and hot, dry and dusty. We soon found that the further north you go, the more expensive water got...which is kind of a "no duh" statement since we're traveling into the Sahara desert...hmmmm... At any rate, crossing the border was a pain, not because of any large amounts of paperwork, but because of the excessively spread out process of starting and stopping. We would drive for twenty minutes, and then everyone would pile out of the tro so we could have one guy check out passports. Then we would all pile right back in, drive another twenty minutes, get out, sign a one page document, and then get back into the vehicle. Then we would drive another twenty minutes, get out again, get ... read more
The Road to Mopti
Sleepin' on the Roof
Mosque in Mopti

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti April 19th 2009

After 3 days of pleasant sightseeing in Bamako-all the old sights but many new,we moved on. We were luck as well with visas. After 4 hours of searching Annie and I found the Niger Consulate and obtained a visa in less than a day. We followed with a Nigerian visa in 2 days. All in all a successful time. After 1 night bush camping we reached Djenne with its world famous mud mosque. Most towns in Mali have mud mosques but this is the largest mud structure in the worls. I had wanted to see this for 25 years.We now are in Mopti and next is a 3 day canoe trip to Timbuckto.... read more
Near Djenne
Djenne

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti December 28th 2008

Helloooo ya ya ya I suck at writing blogs, whatevs. Im just going to apologize now for any grammatical errors cause I dont know how to work these dang french keyboards here in mali1 But I will try my best.Sooo we (meaning hayley and i) to a nice, clean, fairly cheap place in mopti (a bigger town). There are maaany stories but i must be quick. I will tell u my 2 favs thus far. So, we went through Ghana, to reach Bobo; which is in Burkina Faso. A good fried of mine named Shika is a traditional Burkina musicia but has been living in Ghana. So we ent to visit hi here. The one night hayley end i went with shika to visit his village... his uncle/granma/aunties/brothers. It was so cool cause his uncle is ... read more

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti November 23rd 2008

Monday 10 November In the cool of the morning you dig four holes in the earth, put in your poles, tie up an awning, put up your table and your are ready for business. Even at 0700 the Monday market in front of the Djenne mosque is alive with trucks, traders, tourists and very worried sheep. Armed with the camera I shoot anything that moves. I'll never have the time to process a fraction of these. J-M is restless. He has a bad feeling about the place and I sympathise. There is the Djenne of the local population who come to one of the largest markets in Africa to buy, to sell, to exchange news. Dried fish is the biggest single item for sale here. It is bought by families and by traders who load it ... read more
198 Djene2 IMG 0071
199 Djene3 IMG 0074
200 Djene4 IMG 0075

Africa » Mali » Dogon Country » Mopti November 21st 2008

Saturday 08th November After a coffee and an indifferent bun at the overpriced patisserie we leave Kayes. The dust is just as bad in the morning as it is in the evening. We cross the Senegal river which is alive with activity. People washing, small piroques getting ready for the day, it seems like all human life is there. If it's not on the river it's on the bridge which starts with a sand trap. The road is good. Too good in the sense that our day is going to be a long one, 400 miles, and there is little to keep me from drifting off into a reverie and losing concentration. Well, that's not quite true to begin with. Although we are back to scrub savannah there are still the baobab trees which symbolise ... read more
192 Sand extraction IMG 0050
193 J-M IMG 0053
194 Break IMG 0055




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