Day 55: Wednesday 29 December 2010. The Delta
Hotel, Segou N13 26.216 W006 16.733 Distance
driven 267 km
It was sad to leave the Sleeping Camel, but all our friends there were
leaving also and we need to build momentum again. We cranked up the fridge
after a 5 day shut-down, collected our fridge items from Bill's freezer and hit
the road via the local supermarket.
Driving through the outskirts of Bamako by day was not much better than by
night, except that you can see the policemen! It was very dusty, smoky,
polluted and very busy and we didn't relax until we ere well clear of town and
the traffic had thinned out to almost nothing.
We pulled off the road at lunch time and parked in some shade close to a
huge Baobab tree in which there were about 10 bee hives made of woven rushes and
suspended high in the branches - presumably to be clear of the goats. One
wonders how they harvest the honey, 50 ft up?
We drove into Segou and had a look at the Niger then tried to find
somewhere to camp. We really wanted to camp on the banks of the river but
we couldn't find anywhere with access that wasn't near a village or
houses. We did try a rather smart hotel (Hotel Fano) in lovely grounds but
they understandably refused to let us camp there. We ended up back in town
at the Hotel Delta where could have camped in attractive surroundings but the
toilet facilities were disgusting so we opted for a cheap room with
A few days ago a diminutive Japanese lady had rolled into the Sleeping
Camel having driven her equally diminutive Suzuki Wagon 48,000 km from Japan via
Russia, Scandinavia, Western Europe, Morocco etc. Am amazing feat for anyone but
especially amazing for such a small woman on her own. From Europe she has
been accompanied by a well-travelled Dutchman, Peter. One feels quite humble in
comparison; we in our huge block-buster fully equipped 4x4 have done much
less that little Naoka in her bog standard little town car Suzuki. She is so
small she can sleep inside the van!
Well, Naoka and Peter are in the room next door this evening so we are all
going out for a meal together.