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Mali travel stories
MATTER... TO GET THE TRAIN IN KAYES!
LIFE ? AVOID AFRICA TOUR BUS COMPANY
AFRICAN DRIVER OUT OF ROAD
MESSY MATTER... TO GET THE
TRAIN IN KAYES!
in Kayes, because of the floody roads, there was no other mean of
transport unless the train. Getting the tickets and the
train, it has definetely been my toughest travel experience.
Rumors said there was just one daily train in the morning, and it
was necessary to buy the tickets at 6 a.m. at the station.
I woke up at 5 a.m. and reached the stations in the darkeness. I
found lot of people who slept queueing since the day before. I stood
at the end of the queue despite people were watching at me suspiciously
because I was the only one white. After few minutes some blacks
came to me wanting me to let them buy my tickets. When I declined,
knowing about the extra I would have had to pay, they got really
angry and started yelling to everybody about the fact that I had
swindled them and bla bla bla....they were really really freaked
I didn't know what to do, I waited praying I could get out of that
place safely. Suddenly the "ticket office" (a grided small
dark window) opened and then it was caos. I mean people pushing,
beating, yelling to get that bloody tickets. The police arrived
and they started pushing not to stop the mess, but to get their
own tickets and then leaving as nothing was happening. Seldom in
my life I saw so much anger on the faces as that mornig. I asked
to a nice guy from Gambia to fight also for my ticket, and at the
end he managed to get this yellow piece of paper just with
an handwrited number on it.
It was 8.30 a.m., I was happy, "just a matter of few hours
and I'll get the train", I thought. I went to the station every
two hours and no clue about the train. Nobody knew, "it would
be somewhere, it leaves after has arrived" they answered me.
In fact the train arrived at 23.30 p.m., with 12 hours of
delay. It was dark and I had to pay a guy with a flash lamp to show
the way in the dark wagon. It was so humid that I was soaked by
At last the train left, but my happines lasted till it started rain.
I mean a heavy tropical rain and in a no window train that's a huge
problem. All the people laid over the floor stood because it was
fllody. I took my umbrella and tried to shelter but I couldn't win
the wind, so I surrended at the thunderstorm. In the vagon nobody
was complaining about the situation, as awared of an unchangeble
back from Bamako (Mali) to Dakar (Senegal) I decided to fly to skipp
the endless, tiring, shocking travel by land I had in the opposite
way. First of all which is the air company who runs this service?
AIR MALI....uhm...should I trust? no choise I've to. One entire
morning to buy the tickets and then ready for flying. The plane
was an old airbus, not that bad, I've travelled on worse stuffs.
After one hour during the descend to Dakar, suddenly, maybe
for a loss of pression in the cabin, the
oxigens masks fell down and it was panic! I wore my mask and
started breathing into, but it didn't work, the shitty plastic ballon
in front of it didn't inflate. Everybody seemed not really aware
of it and went on breathing in it. The most thrown into confusion
was the stuart who was frozen by the panic and was trying to breath
into a passenger mask, instead of taking his oxigen cylinder and
After one minutes I realised it was possible breathing without mask
and then.....I started getting pictures of the funny scene,
don't miss them in the photos section. In ten minutes the plane
landed at Dakar airport and the crew announced it had been an exercise!
YOUR LIFE ? AVOID AFRICA TOUR BUS COMPANY
just entered in Mali when, meeting a french couple getting out in
the opposite way, I asked them some suggestions for my trip. They
had jus one advice:" whatever it'll happen never take AFRICA
TOUR BUS COMPANY!!!!!!!!" I don't know why, but after a bunch
of days my butt was sat on one AFRICA
The travel was a 10 hours night travel from Bamako to Mopti, that
turned to be an hell. I didn't know about the bus schedule;
they told me: "just after finishing loading". It took
hours to load every sort of stuff on the roof and then they
started calling people. I don't think the term overload could be
appropriate to define the bus. I think on the bus there were more
than the double of the people necessary to fill up a bus that in
Europe would've been defined full! There was no room for the legs
and my girlfriend had to keep them up. The humidity was unbearable:
I was totally soaked, as much as getting out from a hot shower.
I turned happy when the bus left and the opened door let a breeze
to flow in. But my happyness lasted till the first stop...uhm...more
or less 2 minutes after. Then half of the people got off. I waited,
I didn't understand why, and then again, everybody on and 4 minutes
after stopping again.
I think the first hour was just leaving, stopping, waiting. But
suddenly started raining and dripping on my girlfriend head. I thought:
"Oh my God, it's the first bus I've ever seen with the shower,
and it's even warm water!!"
AFRICAN DRIVER OUT OF ROAD
the last of three walking days in the Dogon area, sleeping on the
roofs, when our dogon guide got lost and I looked for each other
till evening. Then he had to rent a jeep to go back in Bandiagara
but the driver didn't ask the permission to the owner of the jeep
so he was really in hurry to take it back and pocket the money.
Obviously he was driving crazly when went out of the road and the
jeep got stuck tilted. I tried to push it out for one hour when
I surrended and started argueing with the driver. I was in the middle
of nothing covered with mud and dead tired. I lit a fire while
the driver went on working like a crazy to move the jeep.
He called people from a villagge who unusefully tried to help him.
It was 2 a. m. when I decided to sleep over a flat hot rock near
the fire, hoping the driver couldn't manage to get it out at least
till the morning. After one hour a truck passed (shitty truck!!:-)
) and towed the jeep out! the driver was so happy, run to wake us
up. I was so pissed off, I wanted to sleep, but no way to convince
him to wait till the morning: he wanted to go.
He reached Bandiagara and dropped us off in the middle of the night.