20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

Djenne taxi rank

The mosque

Evening light

Market

Market 2

House

Market overspill

Goat Market

Mosque from hotel

Taking home the spoils

Djenne Ferry


Phew it't hot.

Connundrum:

You arrive in Djenne, it's in the desert, it's hot, it's seriously hot. Do you drink a)water or b)beer?

Suplimentary information...

You can get big bottles of beer or big bottles of water. Water is warm, hot even, beer is ice cold. Big bottles of water cost 1000Francs (usual price 500) big bottles of beer cost 1000Francs (usual price 1000).

Answers on a psotcrad, hic!

I'm not the only one to think this, everyone I've met here thinks that the mosque is tiny compared to what they've been led to believe and have seen in photographs. The town is quite impressive though with it's ancient mudbrick architecture and market day craziness.

I should moan on here more often, every time I say that there is nothing to see or do in West Africa I get proven wrong. I had a great time in Djenne, I probably spent less than half an hour in the market (I'm not a market person) but the atmosphere in town from the night before was electric. I spent most of Market day sat at the same table in the bar/restaurant of the Chez Baba hotel sharing cold beers with whoever happened to be back from the market at the time. A nice group formed there with a Spanish couple, a Chinese american and a Belgian girl so it was pleasant just sitting around chatting in the shade all day.

My plan was to get a taxi back to Sevare at about 2pm but it was just so hot just to leave the shade that I kept putting it off. Finally at 5pm and a little tipsy I headed to the taxi stand. On market day there is direct transport to and from Djenne from most towns in the area (I had to change at the "Djenne Carrefour" 30km outside town to get there). As soon as I arrived at the taxi stand I found that there was one place left in a share taxi. The reason it was left was because no-one else would take it, I found myself shoehorned into the middle row of seats with 3 big mamas or actually with 2 reasonable size mamas and an elephant. I wasn't that worried as the trip should only be an hour. I didn't account for the taxi which must have been older than the driver and that's saying something. If we got over 30kmh on the whole trip I'd be surprised. There were numerous stops on route, the ferry being the only one that I could tell why. Every time I had to resqueeze myself in or sit in and then be sat on, the 3 people in the back row thought it was hilarious, especially when I indicated the size of the elephants arse as it descended on me. Eventually, 3 painful hours later we rolled into Sevare, as soon as I recognised somewhere I shouted to stop the taxi, the driver said that we zeren't at the stop but I shouted "Arrete!" again and forced my way out. I told them I'd had enough and would walk the rest of the way.



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