From Mali we blog..!

Beaming to each other as we pedalled over the River Senegal Imran’s words cut through the heat of our afternoon of cycling.

‘We’ve done it. We have bloody well cycled to Mali.’


The route to the border had been dusty and tough but as we crossed the fresh river air welcomed us to Mali.

senegal river

The customs officials were interested in little more than a brief ‘hello’. In fact as soon as they absorbed the phrase ‘we’re on bicycles…’ we were dismissed as they returned to the daily grind of dealing with the hundreds of trucks waiting to bring supplies to landlocked Mali.

The days leading up to the border crossing brought peaceful encounters with other travelers, nomadic goat herders on their meandering path, wandering men who had walked some 500 km bare foot and hundreds of teenage boys on the first bicycle pilgrimage we’ve seen.

Previously spoilt by frequent villages this most recent leg of our journey has been far quieter, thus more of a challenge in terms of water, food and sleeping. But with a little bit of planning and a change of fuel in our previously failing expedition cooker we embraced a bit of solitude. Our culinary experiments have revolved around a variety of rice dishes; beef stock rice, fish rice, powdered milk rice pudding and this inspiring list is only in its youth…

whisperlite imran

morning chores

But rice only fills the cyclists belly for a short time and Mikaela was starting to experience recurring dreams of multiple food groups. Thankfully as we cycled into Kayes, a city about 100 km of the border, we spotted in the distance, a beautiful, though be it lonely, carrot stall…


So tonight, before we make a quick exit from the rumoured-to-be ‘hottest city in Mali’, we will create stew a la carrots, our first meat and rice free meal for quite some time!Tomorrow it’s back on the road. But with only around 600 km left to go the question that’s on both our minds is, where to cycle after Mali..?

To leave you with something small to ponder, take a look at our recently purchased Chinese-imported playing cards and see if you can spot the problem…


14 responses to “From Mali we blog..!

  1. You’ll have to invent a card game with rules that don’t include the low numbers of the pack! Just another variation on the same theme as carrot stew! use what you have… ;o)

  2. Hilary Franklin

    Iknow its a bit early but wanted to not only say well done you have done brilliantly but Happy Christmas to you both .Mike and I love reading all your adventures it inspires us to do something a bit more exciting ourselves .Who knows ?? anyway look after yourselves and keep writing Its great xxxx

  3. Well done, you two.

  4. Grim and Grumps

    l can just imagine your delight at seeing some vegetables, was it only carrots, l get like that if we have been abroad for some time on holiday and nobody seems to use veg, when we went into town there they all were caulis, carrrots, and other types of veg but they didnt use them in the hotels, except maybe in their starter salads, disguised as pickles. So glad youve arrived in Mali, do you really think that you will continue on after the festival? you are devils for punishment. Good on you. Keep smiling as in the last photo, Love you lots XXXXXXXX

  5. Well done!! Fantastic achievement. How far have you cycled now?

  6. Well done guys! What an amazing achievement.
    You’re not cycling home are you?

  7. Carol Anne Malleson

    We are all in awe of you two – what a great achievement – Soooo understand the need for veg – felt like that after a week in Greece!! Hope your Christmas is peaceful and wonderful. Love to you bothfrom Hugh Carol Rose & Molly in snow laden Cardiff.

  8. Hi both – I saw Matthew on Friday who told me what you were up to then Jay and Simon yesterday so I’ve only just come across the site and the music. What a fantastic thing to do and great music. Seasons greetings! Ben

  9. Wow !!!Celebrations to you both! Tingling as I read your Mali arrival, and sooo happy for you,Have a wonderful Christmas…loving your blogs,thankyou xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Brilliant achievement. Look forward to the celebrations of your home coming.. Wait till the snow has gone..Cant think of many games of cards where I wouldn’t be happy to have a hand like that..
    love and best wishes.

  11. If there are no small cards…that means only poker can be played….wouldn’t want you to loose your shirts… wait till you come to Rome. I still can’t believe that you are actually cycling and camping and just keep going….bravo. If you don’t hear from me before….”MERRY CHRISTMAS” Love to you both Non.

  12. Thinking of you both on Christmas Day. Have a very happy one with all the good people you have around you.

    Lots of love, Ling

  13. woooooooooop!

  14. Lauren Armstrong

    Merry Christmas!!
    It’s so great to hear you’ve reached Mali after all your weeks of hard work! Did you celebrate Christmas with carrot stew?
    Lots of love,
    Lauren Xxx

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