Day 66: And Ouagadougou to you too!

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Sun 9 Jan 2011 21:25
Day 66: Sunday 9 January 2011. Hotel Le Karite Bleu, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. N12 13.139 W001 29.415. Distance driven 430 km. Total distance 11,627 km
Save this one for your next quiz game - what's the capital of Burkina Faso?  Ouagadougou, pronounced woggadoogoo!
We left Bandiagara early, without cleaning the car which was a good thing as it turned out, as the expected tar road was a dirt road after 20 km and it deteriorated badly until well into Burkina Faso.  At least 200 km of dirt which was again very, very dusty.  The inside of the car is now absolutely filthy and everything in it is filthy, including us!
Just after Koro we passed through Mali Customs and after another 11 km, Mali police stamped us out of Mali.  Then 22 km of No Man's Land until we reached Burkina Faso Customs who refused to accept our Carnet de Passage.  they did however issue us with a Laisser Passer with a validity of one month for CFA 5,000, so there is no real problem.  Then it was about another 10 km to the final step when we were stamped into Burkina Faso by the police.  It was our easiest Border crossing so far, even though it was spread out over about 50 km.  No hassle, no touts, no queues, no bribes, no hidden fees, only friendly officials.
Once clear of the border we were soon on a good tar road for the next 200 km into Ouagadougou with practically no traffic. At one point we passed some beautifully cultivated gardens and in the next village bought some delicious carrots for next to nothing and chomped them at the wheel. 
In the past the favourite stop of overlanders like ourselves has been the OK Inn which previously allowed free camping in their car park in return for eating in their restaurant and drinking in their bar.  However, they stopped this favour early this year so we had to look for somewhere else.  As there are no recognised camp sites and as we felt very much in need of total reconditioning, we opted for a hotel tonight and ended up here at the Karite Bleu, well placed for the Ghanian Embassy where we have to go tomorrow for visas. After a long hot shower, a shave and a steak, life seems infinitely better!  I just got the car cleaned externally tonight - now we have to do a total job on the inside!