December 20, 2008 GMT
Wow, a lot of countries

My last real blog insert was from Senegal and the hideous events that were the arrests of Peter and myself. Shame really as the impressions I got from Senegal is that it was a really beautiful country. A lot of really nice people, the cool cities of St Louis and Dakar, vibrant night-life and general good feeling. Only for it to be upset by a person who thought it okay to have us arrested in an attempt to extract money and misery from us! B****rd! I hope his balls turn square and fester in every corner. Not that I hold a grudge Tee hee hee!
After Senegal, Peter and I met up with a fellow rider Jean-Marie, on his BMW1200gs. A Frenchman who was pottering about West Africa having a ball. We were honoured to have him join us as I'm sure Peter fancied some intelligent conversation for a change and J-Ms english was excellent which in turn gave us a break from doing more damage to the French Language.


It was amusing to find that as Peter readily admits, his mechanical knowledge isn't great but when J-M disclosed to us over dinner that he still couldn't find where to put in the water for the radiator on his new BMW1200gs. We had to stare at each other in disbelief and have a good chuckle. I'm sure that made Peters blog entry!
So onto the formalities of the border with Mali, crossing the frontier bridge after completing the immigration formalities but failing to get my carnet stamped I had to return and seek the customs post. Slightly annoyed with myself I pushed onto to complete the Malian side and found Peter and J-M waiting for me at the Customs building. Onwards and upwards we went and after a couple of long days found ourselves in Bamako, the capital city.

I had done some work on the bike back in Dakar by fitting a new oil cooler as the temperature wasn't being too good. Readily hitting red as soon as 10 minutes into the days ride but I figured it out to be a combination of ambient temperature, lack of airflow around the engine and me kicking the arse out of it doing 120kms per hour for hours on end! However even after fitting the oil cooler the temp was down but I wasn't convinced I had done the job properly and needed to check it, air lock in the system maybe? Or as mark would put it 'Nut loose behind the steering!' i.e. ME!
So Peter and J-M headed off the next day from the Catholic Mission to Djenne and the Famous mud mosque another 600km ride to the East.


After checking all's well with the bike, obtaining stickers for myself and Mark I pushed on towards Djenne and stopping off in Sejou for a night. I met up with J-M on his return from Djenne whilst I was sat in a restaurant. I had told one of the local hotel touts I wasn't making a decision for what dive I was going to stay in until my friends were to be informed. I was alone but use this ploy as a breather from the incessant touts. It happens that J-M was returning through the town when one of the touts jumped in front of him, shouting 'Geoffs over here, come quickly, follow me!!' So in curiosity he did. Ha ha, what a surprise!
As usual I managed to fall foul of the law as I asked a local for the road out of town in the direction for Djenne. The mistake I made was to ask a pedestrian...! For he pointed down the road, I happily thanked him and set off only to be stopped by two gleeful coppers for being the wrong way ON A ONE WAY STREET! Of course the pedestrian I asked gave me the correct answer, for a pedestrian! Doh!
The cops then gave me the usual babble and then hit me with the fine 16,000chf! Jeeezzus Chriiist! How much? That's a months wages. I'm not paying that. So I stuck my heels in and refused politely whereas another two cops turned up, then another then finally a cop whom everybody smartly stood to attention, saluted and stared straight at me. They'd obviously been chatting to each other and brought in the 'heavies' to wear me down and it wasn't until bigwig turned up and said 'we got you bang to rights (artistic licence) my son, now pay or jail!' So I paid! Feeling pissed off but relieved to have my bike and paperwork back I quickly hopped onto the steed fired her up and got out of there only to look back and see the cops dividing up the money I'd just paid them! Wonderful!
On to Djenne and the Mud Mosque..........

Posted by geoffshing at December 20, 2008 01:46 PM GMT

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!