Hello Burkina Faso: the highs and the lows…

On a low: Only 5km into our day of cycling and a huge thorn has buried itself within the depths of Mikaela’s front tyre and is causing multiple punctures. Time for a new tyre.

Mikaela gives her new tyre the kiss of luck!

On a high: A long day of pedalling and we arrive at an actual hotel. As students on bicycles we are swiftly shown to a cheap spot on the roof… we discover the hotel has a swimming pool and sneak lots of cheeky dips free of charge.

A blissful afternoon off the bikes…

On a low: Discovering the rumours were wrong, the road had not been paved as far as hoped…

The signpost gave little detail as to what the ‘danger’ was…

On a high: We rest our piste-shaken bones in the small village of Tedie Kanda. It’s an artisan village of Dogon people and we are invited to meet the local weavers at work.

Hard at work weaving cloth

On a low: The dust is bad and the borderland is much bigger than the map told us.

It should have been 15km…

An orange mist

On a high: At the Malian exit point, we worry about our dodgy visas (Imran was mistakenly given a 100 years duration). But it seems the officials are so happy we took the road against the advice of ‘evil Sarkozy’ (we assume a reference to the kidnap warning recently issued by the French Embassy for this particular road), they offer us tea and barely even glance at our invalid visas.

Sharing a glass of tea

On a low: We cycle past a truck accident, no one is hurt but there is fuel all over the road. It coats the tyres in a greasy layer and we nearly fall of our bicycles trying to brake, we then have to clean it off before heading down a bit of a hairy hill…

Scary stuff

On a high: We reach Ouahigouya and the end of the piste, smooth tarmac stares us in the face and a friendly ‘ça va?’ calls out from next to a cart full of mangoes, we lean the bikes against a signpost for cold coca cola, time for a break…

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9 responses to “Hello Burkina Faso: the highs and the lows…

  1. Prudence Lambert

    Hey guys
    Great news that things are not as (Sarko) reported… but stay alert anyway. You need that Touareg cloth over your face as a dust filter… quite a roller coaster! lots of love xxxx

  2. Well done, Mikaela and Imran. Following you every inch of the way, thankfully not physically. Lots of love, Ling

    • Thanks Ling, it’s so great to have the lovely support of friends and family, from all over the world it now seems! People we didn’t even know followed us from little corners of the world, blogging is a fine thing! X

  3. haha les gars c’est super, vous avez l’air de bien sourire, je suis content que vous la passez bien. xx

  4. Fantastic to see you’re still going strong – congratulations! I love the pic of the extension to the bike rack, over very respectably worn tyre tread! x Zoe.

    • look closer! that’s what the tyres looked like brand new (to allow smoothe cruising on tarmac) and they’ve lasted incredibly! I good investment methinks…

  5. IMRAN!!
    It all looks so fantastic – only just rediscovered your website – can’t wait to hear more.
    (Len will be so jealous when I show him!)
    Love to you both.
    Take Care
    Bobbi x x

  6. sadly the road from Ouahigouya to Bobo is only half paved, the second half…
    but you know that by now

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