Bamako to Sanankoroba. 250 kilmetres in 28 hours

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After the festival I left by flight to Bamako. My actual mission for Mali was to join a workshop of African dance arranged by Sidiki Camara and Brahima Coulibaly. I had already pushed the program one week ahead to join the festival – and I wanted to go to the village where the rest of the group stayed as soon as possible.

The airport in Timbuctu was small, and after been through the security checks in Europe this was rather relaxed. Somebody ran away with my ticket and my passport, and I got a number and my passport back. When I delivered my luggage they asked: what is your name. I told them Elin. Ok, Elin – and they sent my bag without any marking. Security check was non-excisiting, and the plain parked just outside the steps of the terminal.

From Bamako I travelled with Adama, a relative of Sidiki. The trip to the small village Sonan Koroba was 250 kilometres, and were supposed to take about 6-8 hours – 28 hours after I left Bamako we arrived. Actually the whole trip went pretty smooth, but it included a lot of waiting. In Selingue we waited by the roadside for five hours for another bus, which never arrived. I nice man offered us to sleep at his place. They treat their guest so good, and I got my own bedroom, and even though it’s a very nice guesture, it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Well, there is no use trying to deny, so the best way is just to enjoy the great hospitality. After a good nights sleep – finally after three night of festival – we were back by the roadside, still no bus. After a few hours  somebody could tell that the bus had broken down, so it wouldn’t arrive. So, we found a tuk-tuk who was willing to take us the 15 kilometres to the ferry. Halfway it broke down, and we waited three hours under a three waiting for it to get fixed. During the three hours there were nothing but a few motorbikes passing us – and off course a lot of curious people wondering what this white girl is doing under the three in their neighborhood.

Finally we got to the ferry, the boat did not go down, and despite the bad coverage for cellphones, Adama managed to call for some motorbikes from the village to pick us up.  Despite a long trip, not a bad experience after all – if everything had went as planned  I would have missed out on some great hospitality and a lot of traditional tea, and I would have been very surprised!

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