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10 months of statistics – to Accra

It’s 10 month’s since I left the UK. I’ve made it to Ghana. And it’s time for a summary of the trip so far, by numbers. I’ve posted some statistics on my main sponsor’s, Webtogs, blog: Togblog I’m currently back in the UK getting a new passport, which I’m eager to fill up with lots […]

The Simple Answer – Speaking English in Ghana

Entry into Ghana was overshadowed by leaving Burkina Faso, which I was a little sad to be leaving. But the immigration officials were friendly enough. While one slowly and meticulously filled out my immigration form (I could have completed it in a fraction of the time, but time is no matter here), I watched cartoons […]

OK in Ouagadougou

I spent two weeks in Ouaga. Camping in the car-park of the OK Inn Hotel. Sandwiched between  a truck park and the hotel reception. Doesn’t sound so OK. But what more do you need when camping than a flat piece of ground in the shade? Not much. Included in the free camping was use of […]

Bamako to Ouagadougou (part 4) – And into Burkina Faso

Leaving Mali Leaving Mali was tougher than I thought. Not due to any particular attachment, although I did enjoy my time there. It was the wind and the rough, corrugated, roads. Mostly the wind though. It tried it’s hardest to blow me right back into Mali, even after I’d got the Burkina Faso entry stamped […]

Bamako to Ouagadougou (part 3) - Escape from Timbuktu

Bamako to Ouagadougou (part 3) – Escape from Timbuktu

I had heard that leaving Timbuktu can be a time-consuming challenge. So when I was in Kourioume, still 10km prior to arriving, I was searching out ways to leave. The day was Wednesday. We could leave on Friday. By public pinasse. A pinasse is like a large, motorized pirogue. A pirogue is a small wooden […]

Bamako to Ouagadougou (part 2) - A Detour to Timbuktu

Bamako to Ouagadougou (part 2) – A Detour to Timbuktu

Djenne Djenne is a sleepy place. Except for Mondays. Monday is market day. Market day means hundreds of people arrive in town, congregate, congest the streets. They usher in goats and sheep, set up shop on the street floor to sell anything (everything afterall has a price and if it has a price it can […]

Bamako to Ouagadougou (part 1) – The Harmattan and Hungry

It’s been so long since the last proper update I hardly know what to write about. I guess the simplest thing is to start from where I left off…. and that was in Bamako having recovered from the previous weeks’ exertions paddling down the Niger river. That was over six weeks ago. Bike Ride from […]

The Travel Blues in Mali

The Travel Blues in Mali

Mali is famous for it’s music but I haven’t heard much and haven’t tried to find it.  I’ve been singing my own song and I’d have to say it’not very soulful. Having had a bout of literary diarrhoea after two weeks of paddling a pirogue down rapids and through shallow waters, I am now suffering, […]

The Great Niger River Boat Trip - Part 5

The Great Niger River Boat Trip – Part 5

Day 14: 19th Feb 2010 Fast rapids – Boat unload – Stuck! – Decision to quit in Kouroussa It was a successful start to the day, with calm open water which Joliba II glided over with considerable ease. Boosted by our progress and steady rhythmic paddling, when we heard the distinctive white water ahead and […]

The Great Niger River Boat Trip - Part 4

The Great Niger River Boat Trip – Part 4

Day 11: Feb 16th 2010 Warthogs – Broken boat – Hippo encounter – Bush fire – Bat exodus – Uniformed and uninformed – Poacher or American? A long, hard morning paddle – at least we were paddling and not pushing or dragging, but the wavelets on the river surface were tiresome. With the ripples lapping […]