Day 55; On the road again - Segou

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Wed 29 Dec 2010 16:57
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 AC. 
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.