Sunday, April 18, 2010

My road trip to Mali

Finally in Mali! I have not blogged for almost a Month not even when I was in Nigeria for a brief period of 14 days! It was good to be home. The only hitch was how to readjust to the heat. I did not for once feel bad that light was not constant. My UK stay for 6 Month did not influence that-lol. I didn't feel irritated that light was always rationed when I got back to Nigeria. The experience was already in the blood.

It was fantastic to see my hubby, cats and friends. It felt wonderful. I did not stay for long before hubby and I packed our luggage for Mali. The experience of seeing part of West Africa together by road was very strong, so we embarked on this "road trip to Mali" which ended yesterday after a week of journey! We left Nigeria on the 12th of April which happened to be Hubby's birthday. We chose ABC coach to Ghana even though we were delayed for a while which made the journey 12hrs, we did enjoy the ride. My 2nd time journeyed with ABC to Accra though. We got to Ghana and was able to check in into a 2 star hotel, not too costly with polite staff. We spent a day going through Accra and taking pictures. We met with a friend and colleague that I have not seeing in 2 yrs and had dinner with her. Hubby fell in love with Accra!

The Ghana journey had to end so we proceeded to Burkina Faso through STC transportation. The longest and challenging of all the trips! STC over packed loads, the coach was filled inside out with load. All the space in the coach was filled with loads. Lots of people screamed at each other but the most difficult part was how we went round round Ghana for 24 hrs in the bus! We were told the journey would take 24hrs in all but for 2t hours, we were still in Ghana - [Good thing though, we got to see Kumasi, Tamale and a few other towns in Ghana. With the vehicle breakdown of 5 hours which happened at 2.40am after the so called vehicle had been checked and fueled 2 hours before! The amazing part was getting stranded in the middle of no where and people getting down to sleep by the side of the road leaving all their stuff around! Can I ever feel this secured on Nigerian roads?



The whole journey to Burkina took 36 hours! We finally arrived and I got angry for the 3rd time since our journey. The first time I got upset was when a smart passenger which we didn't even find out who he or she was, took over our load space on the bus as we disembarked to urinate and stretched our legs. The second time was at Ghana border before Burkina where an immigration officer felt he had a right to be disrespectful. I put him in his place, trust me. The third and the most annoying was at the park where the taxi driver who I was politely telling that I have breakable items in my bag refused to listen but kept scream 'oh women'! I took my loads off his cab and asked him to get lost! Since he failed to listen but kept scream "oh, women" as if I have done something unforgivable to this guy.


We got another cab and had a very hot ride to the hotel despite the time being 9pm! It was damn hot! We eventually settled in in our minus 5 star [-5] hotel, where we got this horrible room that has not being swept in ages! If not for tiredness and the lateness of the time, we would have gone elsewhere. We discovered the following day that the "elsewhere" hotels were not even far of! This is what happened when you don't know your way around, when you don't get adequate information about where you are on the internet and when you don't speak the language of that country! People need to stop generalising that we, the people of Africa are all the same, that is an unfounded fallacy! I have seeing how amazingly different and diverse the people of Africa are, even our Okro grew differently-lol.


The women of Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali ride their motorcycles and bicycles with ease. With no crazy drivers chasing them off the road, with men conveniently sitting as their passengers even none is for commercial purpose. I must get my own motorcycle in Mali! we left Burkina with TCV coach which was very comfortable and timely. We had heavily armed military men that escorted us to Bobo for Ouaga, I was afraid because 2 of them sat next to hubby and I with their guns point up! No escort followed usa from Bobo to Bamako since we journeyed during the day. The language barrier did not help matter at all, so I must learn French at all cost. They even used french figures to tell their money which even got me confused the more. They have to show us the money to make payment easier-lol.


Finally, we reached Bamako after a week of travel!After a week of endless border stop, search, stamp and pass. After one week of my new bags passing through dirt, rough roads, rough and as well as neat upload and off load in da different buses! The risk was worth it as we have learned a thing or 2 about a few other countries in West Africa, we felt the heat of North Ghana, Burkina Faso and Bamako. We got to check in into a 3 star hotel with swimming pool and wireless Internet connection here in Bamako. We got to take a lot of pictures, all of which I will upload on my Facebook album and these pictures will serve as a memory of our Mali trip by road. I will get to live here in Bamako for 6 Months and this time around with intentions to blog regularly! Off I go to start searching for accommodation. Wish me luck everyone!

23 comments:

Myne Whitman said...

Love the commentary, I will look out for the pics on FB.

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Myne: Commentary? Ah, that is the word, I wonder why I never thought of it as that. You are a write so thumps up.

How are you doing?

Jaycee said...

I'm glad you and hubby got to learn a little about Ghana, Bamako and the other place. Sounds like the last hotel was fun, what with the swimming pool, internet access, and all what not. I can't imagine traveling by road for a week, but I'm sure that with your significant other it was worthwhile.

Wishing you all the best dearie (not luck).

downtheaisle said...

wow!!! that was some journey? by road...
how r u doing? its being a while.

Dee! said...

What a trip by road! When I read such posts, I always get the urge to travel!
Hope you enjoy your stay there.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

oooh! While I am sorry for the inconveniences you and your oko experienced during the journey, I am super excited for you guys! Traveling around WA should be easier, if you ask me.

Enjoy Bamako. While there, consider visiting Abidjan if you are yet to do so. A lovely city, with excellent food. yum!!!! Oh, and great beaches.

have fun!!!!!

Ore said...

Beautiful article on your trip. Thanks for this. Aside from Ghana, I haven't visited the other countries and really want to go now, especially with your commentary. Would love to see the ladies riding their motorbikes.

I hope Hubby is FLYING back to Lagos. Imagine doing all that again on his own.

funkola said...

all the best with the accommodation hunting.
oooh, that woman on the motor bike....nice pic! seems like you had a good road trip.

Anna Fani said...

This road trip with hubby looks like a lot of fun. I'm jealous :)

Rosalind治男Garney火吟 said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.......................................................

SHE said...

Sounds exciting, despite the heat and the few irritations.

Perhaps I should undertake a similar road trip myself?

musco said...

bn a while I was here.just when I was thinking we were still in this 'taste-less food' country together.

lovely pics from the trip!

NylaWoodcock0502 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

LucidLilith said...

Wow...as a Nigerian the thought of travelling to another African country never crosses my mind.

Olufunke said...

Interesting....traveling, seeing places, learning about people's culture, very educative too.

Excited for you!
and sorry about all the hiccups of the journey,....guess it comes with the package.
How are you doing?

Afronuts said...

Interesting!

I'm a lover of road trips and at times prefer the road rather than by air 'cause you get to see so many things along the way.

Though I wouldnt like the idea of our bus breaking down and all that! lol

sosexy said...

First time here and I'm definitely coming back.
You description makes it a reality.

Kafo said...

wow
it seems like you have your hands full

take care and enjoy yourself

@ least Hubby is with you

joicee said...

I enjoyed reading this. I don´t know if I could stand travelling on the road for a whole week but you never know right?

YoungW21087 said...

我們唯一需要恐懼的事,是恐懼本身........................................

怡萱 said...

廢話不多,祝你順心~^^........................................

lamikayty said...

Awesome!!! I'd so love to do this - will send you an email when i'm almost ready, lol! I hope!!! I'd love to see your pictures too.
I feel you on STC....took it from Accra to Cape Coast in 2006 and it was horrible.
Enjoy Mali! and yeah learn some french!

NakedSha said...

I would like to road-trip through West Africa so bad!!!

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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