This is how we spent our final 24 hours in Bamako…
8h: After a speedy breafast, I get on my bike to try to find some spare bike parts. After running through our local market I find what I need and get some new bar ends welded together to ease the strain on our hands when cycling.
8h45: Back home, Mikaela is madly planning our next route while I file down guitar parts to get a road-worthy guitar together.
10h: With the help of a welder I get an extension to Mikaela’s back rack for carrying her new kamele ngoni.
11h: We take a long taxi ride to Kalaban Coura ACI to say good-bye to Makan and his family, who hosted us when we first arrived in Bamako.
14h12: After going back to the welders for a quick alteration, I start fixing the bikes up.
17h: With only a few hours left we reach the studio to record Mikaela’s vocal overdubs. Kona, the recording engineer, starts to transfer all the files onto a painfully expensive 8GB USB stick (35 euros!). He tells us we can come collect it later on.
19h33: We guzzle down a final brochette and plantaine meal by our house with our flatmates.
21:13: Jumping in a taxi we race to say good-bye to Souleymane and Coroba’s families in the Badialan neighbourhood.
21:56: We then go the the rap podium that Souleymane helped to organise.
22:45: Souleymane asks us to join him to play is song “Maman”, his mother is in the audience and a few tears are shed.
23:45: Realising we have around 4 hours til we needed to leave the house, we say our goodbyes to the party and rush off to collect our precious USB stick.
00:15: We collect the USB stick safely and say goodbye to Kona and Bob at the studio.
00:30- We rush to meet our friends who will take the USB stick back to the UK. They are playing a gig at Radio Libre and we’re invited to perform a few songs.
1:45: We say our final good-byes and rush back home where most of our packing is yet to be done.
4:10: After some very rapid packing (or stuffing!) we are ready to go.
Bamako, we are leaving you, your dusty streets, crazy roads and friendly faces. It has been sweet, sometimes bitter-sweet, but for now its goodbye, just until next time…