Mixed feelings in Mali
I successfully completed my third humanitarian mission ito an orphanage in Mali - that was a high point
but I was sad... sad because the lovely, beautifully rugged corrugations and sand piste between Nioro de Sahel and Bamako had finally been changed and now it is all tarmac...
It made the mission easier no doubt but there was a romance about this section which is now forever buried under a layer of black sticky stuff and loose gravel.
I was lucky to be able to have been there with my F650 then my Toyota twice before this modernisation came to be.
Those beautiful villages I rode & drove through, bought the local bread from and now have either been cut in two with the new road right down the middle or bypassed altogether so you would not even know they were there.
The interaction I had chatting to those who live there has gone too. They were nowhere to be seen.
Where that dark red soil once billowed and swirled elegantly blotting out the sun when wrecked lorries struggled to get accross, now lies black tar....those lorries are still there but now blasting humongous black clouds of unburned diesel as they attempt to squeeze previously unused speed from their trashed engines and rumble along at suicidal rates.
Progress? hard to tell- perhaps it is a gain for some but certainly a way of life has changed again. And to top it all, there is a 'Peage' albeit a small one.
R.I.P beautiful piste- another one gone.
Last edited by Bertrand; 29 Jan 2008 at 09:01.
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