Friday, September 3, 2010

A final check of the plans.

View of the Niger River from my hotel room.

My Malian guide, Tall came to meet me at my hotel in Bamako tonight to tell me what our travel plans were going to be for coming 6 days. Though I had read the itinerary over several times, it was difficult to remember all the details mainly cause it's hard to remember the names of all the different places. All I know for now is that tomorrow's destination is Djenné and it would be a full 8 hour day of driving to get there. Tall, who's first name is Joom (spelled as it is pronounced phoentically) will be here bright and early at 7am to pick me up so I will be up, checked out and waiting for him in the lobby by then.


Day 2's destination will be the town of Mopti which is the launching point to the Dogon country. At the end of Day 3, we leave the car behind and head out on foot. As Tall is telling me this, all I can do is wonder whether or not I can last three days of hiking in Mali. I guess we'll see. Worse case is that Tall will have to send the driver to come and pick us up.

According to the itinerary, I arrive back in Bamako around 4pm on Friday which is when my plane to Dakar is too take off so I told Tall we have to adjust our plans so as to get me back into town by 2pm at the latest and then he can just drop me off at the airport. Tall said he'll figure it out. I pray that he does and that we don't have issues making it back to town - I have nightmares that we'll break down somewhere along the way back.....that would be horrible. Positive thoughts....I must think positive thoughts!

When we got to the end of the itinerary, I realized I would not get to see Bamako at all. I had passed up a couple opportunities during the week to see the city thinking I would have chance later but I guess not. Oh well. Some other time.

As I rode the elevator back up to my room, the excitement of what laid ahead of me welled up and as much as I tried to get an early's night rest, I just couldn't which was just as well by me as I still had to gather all my stuff and pack!  I can't believe I'm really going to be seeing the *real* Mali.  So, so excited!!