Friday, February 25, 2011

VACATION! Burkina Faso, Mali, Dogon Country

A picture is worth a thousand words….

So in this case, it’s basically like I’m writing 300,000 words about my vacation, because I'm providing a link to all the photos I took. Erik did a lot of filming, so I took pictures, there are a lot of him, and a lot of random photos, like trees, because I love trees. Also, after Dogon country, I was so exhausted, I kind of forgot about my camera. Though, I did get an amazing picture of two men on motorcycles, on top of a van on our ride home.

Simple itinerary:
Day 1: Village to Natitingou (PCV Benin Workstation)

Day 2: Natitingou to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (We stayed at Hotel Evangelique something or other, $3 each, and the room had beds with nets, and a bathroom with a TOILET and shower!!

Day 3: Ouagadougou to Bobo, Burkina Faso. (Got a wonderful, nice, air conditioned bus. Stayed at Hotel Royal, $3 each, same business. We also ate delicious chicken and fries and I had 3 beers…bad idea considering my starvation mode for traveling…it’s hard to use the restroom on the side of the rode, so I avoid food water.)

Day 4: Bobo, Burkina Faso to Mopti, Mali. (HELL travel day. We sat on plastic water containers in the aisle of the jankiest bus you’ve ever seen. My container was leaking a mystery liquid all over my I nicely asked Erik to trade and he obliged (probably because of the huge mamans, he's not THAT nice). I couldn’t even read and was trying to save my ipod for potential worse scenarios. I was sitting between two big mamans and literally could not move the entire EIGHT HOURS. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Our hotel, Hotel No Problem (Hotel Il n'y pas de Problem), was amazing, but $9 each. A little expensive, but worth it. Pool, wonderful, clean beds, towels provided, amazing. Plus a restaurant with great American-y spaghetti.

Day 5: Mopti to Dogon country!!! AMAZING. Most of my pictures are from Dogon country and if they don’t have captions yet, rest assured, they will have captions soon.

Day 6, 7 and 8: DOGON Country and Hiking! We hiked and climbed about 30 miles. It was intense. A Volunteer from Mali and her friend visiting from the United States were with us the first three days and were really fun to hang out with. (Side note: Erik told me to bring my therma rest to sleep on....each village provided us with mattresses. We're still friends though).
- I also must mention that the food was SO good! They fed us rice or cous cous with amazing red, vegetable sauce and chicken. And we had really delicious beans twice too. Plus, mangoes for dessert! Breakfast was bread with laughing cow cheese, jam and/or nutella which our amazing guide brought for us.

Day 8: Dogon country to Mopti. (Hotel No Problem, glorious, found kittens in a basket in the pool veranda area)

Day 9: Mopti to Bobo (Don’t even want to talk about it, worst possible travel experience ever. Got stuck in sketch village, I wont even write what the men said to me when I asked about hotels. We ended up paying ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS to get a taxi to take us to Bobo out of the sketch village that our bus just dropped us off in because the driver decided he didn’t want to go to Bobo anymore. UGH. Had a delicious and ice cold coke at the hotel restaurant though :)

Day 10: Bobo to Ouagadougou. (Easy, same amazing bus, hung out with Burkina Faso volunteers, ate delicious pizza and drank Castel beer on tap at a restaurant they showed us. So much fun!)

Day 11: Ouagadougou to Natitingou. (Stayed at workstation).

Day 12: Stayed the night again, had Boy’s Camp meeting, straightened my hair, plucked my eyebrows, felt American, went out with friends, amazing night.

Day 13: Natitingou to Parakou. Still here. Allison arrived the morning of the 23rd and convinced me to wait for payday (potentially the 1st) before going back to post. I couldn’t resist because I LOVE Allison, she’s the cutest pixie looking, vegan, tarot card reading friend ever. Plus, it's school vacation, I deserve to relax after all that traveling, hiking and sunburning.

Day 14, and 16: Parakou. (Shopped with Allison (found cute pants for $2, American cute, and two dresses for parakou). Made lots of salad and avocado/onion/tomato sandwiches. Drank cold water. Had real (cold) showers.)

Day 16 (Today): BACK TO VILLAGE!! SO EXCITED!! I have to stay for basically all of March because of elections. Our security officer deemed it unsafe for us to leave our village during the heat of elections.

Here is the link to the pictures, enjoy!! (Facebook didn’t work, that’s why they’re on flickr, hopefully you can see them, I have no idea, never used flickr.)

or as a slideshow:

***********First, you'll be viewing the photos in reverse order of when I took them, Second, flickr wouldn't allow me to upload more than 200 time i'm with internet, hopefully facebook will work. Sorry. Stupid flickr

PS: Erik wrote an extensive, detailed blog about our trip, you should probably just read that, sorry I posted this at the end haha.

1 comment:

  1. Hi -- just stumbled across your blog after doing a search for transport to Mopti. My friend and I are planning on doing a Dogon trek in a couple of weeks (for 3 days). Wondering if you would recommend your guide/company and which villages you visited. Thanks! (Please email me at if you get a chance.)