It was a bit of a battle to get through the traffic and out of Bamako towards Burkina Faso but after almost an hour later Team Lipstick was on the right road toward Burkina Faso. The prolonged stay in a local Pub the night before did not assist either in improving the navigation skills of team Lipstick
Colourful lights made by cluing plastic dishes together and inserting a light – seen in a Pub in Bamako
The drive was very scenic and both Andre and Willy were surprised at the green fields and bushes lining up both sites of the road.
A parking space in the shade is in short supply in this part of the world……
There is also a lot of vegetable farming going on in this part of the world and the roads were busier then seen in the northern parts of Mali.
Africans are great in increasing the carrying capacity of almost any vehicle…
We were strongly advised not to deviate from the main road or even travel to the north eastern part of Mali because the current fighting between some Islamic fundamentalists or left over from Gaddafi’s army and the French troops have already caused a lot of harm and lost lives. The UN troops in Bamako can be seen all over and seem to have the situation in the more western site of Mali under control.
The days task was just to get into Burkina Faso and its closest bigger town called Bobo Dioulasso which meant to move about 550km and be there before 4pm local time to watch the soccer match between USA and Germany.Flying Pitstop outsite Bakamo
There are a lot of B&B, Guest houses and small hotels available en route:
Some are smarter than the others – some are just kaaky but even offer a snack bar (Johnny would say TK style…)
The biggest hold up of course and as expected were the border facilities to which team Lipstick got already used by now.
Mali Custom control chief officer
There is no single one stop shop for these controls but they are always scattered over 1-3km and divided between police control, passport control, custom control and army control…..
And some Whitney Houston look alike……..Which have never seen a Carnet de Passage before…
Lipstick found out that it always best to approach the officers with great humour and never get annoyed because of the slow processes which are in place.
A great icebreaker of course is also the handing over of some Caps and taking pictures with the officials although sometimes the taking of pictures is strictly forbidden – but with the modern smart phones one can always pretend reading an email or sending a message whilst in fact some really funny videos or pictures can be taken.
The Mali border control was actually very fast in African terms and the signing of the carnet de passage was well known.
On the Burkina site this procedure took much longer and over a stretch of almost 4km 5 different offices needed to be approached before one finally gets a card board token which needs to be given to the man in charge of lifting the boom which is the entrance door to Burkina Faso.
“ Give me token-I open boom”
Whilst driving team Lipstick made contact with Marius (a South African working in Ghana) to enquire whether the teams second set of passports arrived there by courier.
The delay in getting the Visas for Congo and Angola necessitated that both Andre and Willy left their second passports behind in South Africa and the Visa service company would then DHL them to the address in Ghana. It was a great relief when Marius advised that in fact the parcel has arrived and the team can pick it up when driving down through Ghana from Burkina Faso.
Lipstick arrived in Bobo Dioulasso just after 4pm and immediately located a TV showing the soccer game between USA and Germany from about the 15th minute ( pssst -this however would have not been possible if Lipstick would have obeyed all traffic laws and speed limits…)
The TV could be found in the Hotel Auberge which is run by a French couple and apparently well known for its cuisine and especially their Pizza’s.