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21st Oct 12′ Just South of Didjeni, Mali – Bamako, Mali

October 22, 2012

80.9 miles only (3468 miles to date and 3650 miles from my beloved)

A slow bimble to the Sleeping Camel camp site in Bamako, which is a well-known travellers meeting point was supposed to be todays destination. Along the way we stop by a Sunday market and eat a chip and goat butty, it was lush!

As we approached the city of Bamako, the traffic became heavily congested so we filtered through the traffic the best we could. We often had to under or over take the overloaded trucks which bellowed thick black exhaust fumes into our faces each time we passed caused by the un serviced diesel engines. Together with the heat it made for and uncomfortable ride.

I followed the GPS co-ordinates provided by Dai and on arrival the doors flung open. I asked “ou est Sleeping Camel?”. “Oui Monsieur” the boy replied. Entering the secure driveway there was a small ramp in the middle which I tried to mount but lost my footing doing so. The bike had passed the point of no return and I had to drop it gently to the ground. The working boys around the site helped me pick it up and I checked to see if any damage had been caused which luckily there wasn’t. We agreed a price with the Ambassador, lady of the house and the boys brought our bags up to our rooms. It was a lovely boutique bed and breakfast with en suite rooms and balconies overlooking a small private garden with two fig trees for shade. Dai questioned if we were in the correct place so we asked again to which the boys confirmed it was so we un packed.

During lunch the lady brought us her card which clearly stated Hotel Famille. The boys waited on us hand and foot including washing our already dirty clothes. We decided to re check the GPS co-ordinate, typically camp sites don’t often offer such services. At great disappointment to us both, Dai then realised I had input them incorrectly in to the sat nav. As we had already paid we decided to make the most of their services and check out the Sleeping Camel tomorrow afternoon whilst I hopefully await my Nigerian visa.

I had hoped to arrive in Bamako two days ago and be departing today with my Nigerian visa but as the consulate is closed obviously closed on Sundays means I’m still only two days behind schedule.

Daryl, that leads me on to ask. Have I got Christmas Day off? I submitted my request to James Slater some weeks ago. Cheers