After our long stays in Senegal and Gambia we decided to put a renewed impetus on the journey and our desire to push forward or more appropriately downward. As it stands the journey has evolved into a series of unplanned back to back holidays. That’s not a bad thing it’s just how life off the road has unfolded.
Picking up from where we last left off… we were dashing eastwards through Mali towards Bamako. The only thing we really noticed out of the blur was that the peopleÂ changed considerably. Poverty has become much more visible and in a way more prominent. However people have become more genuine and less hassling. A constant pain in Senegal and Gambia.
We arrived to Bamako in dramatic fashion. My rear wheel met with a vicious 3 inch nail. The bugger ploughed directly through the thinning Desert tyres and super tough inner tube. Our 27 socket, which is needed to remove the back wheel and fix the puncture, fits into a ratchet which for the last 2 weeks has been out of action. As our luck would have it my puncture brought us to a standstill only 100 meters from a small but very friendly motorbike mechanic. Lucky is not the word.
After we replaced the tube with a spare we rode on and arrived in Bamako proper. While there we stayed in a small encampment recommended to us by friends we had met in Dakhla, Western Sahara. It was cool to have made the association and to have heard a lot more dirt on Colin…. Don’t worry Colin it wasn’t all bad! The plan from Bamako was to head south towards Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and then eastwards along the coast to Accra in Ghana. The cheeky Ivorians had a differnt plan. They’d shut their Embassy in Bamako for a week and we were left with the choice between a new route to plan or a week to hang around and wait. We chose the former and decided to go through Burkina Faso and from there into Ghana. A place which surprised us greatly and made us happy to have been detoured. Luck again was on our side as we heard last night from a local in Ghana that troubles have just started to flare up again in the Ivory Coast.