Bobo-Dioulasso

Another hot morning meant we had a Fan Joy for breakfast, basically an ice pop, I can tell you, it was fantastic and certainly brought me some joy for the short time it lasted. With our French for ordering bus tickets nailed, we got to the TCV bus terminal and got the tickets, boarded the bus and set off without any drama’s whatsoever. More impressive than that was that we made it to Bobo without even breaking down once, I know, amazing hey?

Arriving in Bobo was much the same as our arrival in Ouaga only less rubbish, we got bombarded with taxi offers as we got off but by now we were pro’s we got in a shared taxi and got dropped off at our quiet little guesthouse called L’Hotel Zion which was in a small suburban area of the city, an area that would later cause us no end of troubles!

That evening we decided to head out to a nice hotel for some dinner, we’d read that there was a hotel in the city that knocked out really nice food that was cheap, the first bit was true, it wasn’t cheap though. After our driver had struggled to find it we sat down to a lovely meal and some drinks before calling it a night and heading out to catch a cab. There were no street lights in Bobo and you couldn’t see anything, we flagged a cab down, told him where we wanted to go but he didn’t know where it was. Flagged another down, didn’t know where it was, and another, and another. Eventually we found a driver that did know where we meant but not before we’d walk a few miles down a dark unlit road, with absolutely no idea where we were going!

This morning we woke up to hear the rain bouncing off the tin roof above us, it was absolutely hammering it down so we had a much needed and well deserved lay in. Eventually the rain died off and so we headed out whilst we could, getting a taxi into town was a lot easier than getting one back that’s for sure. We walked around the Grande Marche (big market) and were wholly unimpressed really, we’d no intention of buying a plug, scouring pads, bicycle inner tubes, chickens or anything else they had for sale for that matter but I did kind of like the idea that it was like a non internet based eBay where if you wanted it, they would have it! Gen went off in search of an internet café to do some online assessment for a job she was after back home and so I bought an hour and tried to look at the BBC news website, 55 minutes later, the page had just about loaded. It could’ve been worse though because whilst in there we missed another torrential downpour. Once the rain stopped and my hour had run out, we headed over to the mosque, this was quite impressive, I’d seen photos in books of these Sahelian Mosques made from mud and sticks and they were equally as impressive in real life. We arrived just in time for afternoon prayer and we stood outside listening as everyone went in for prayer.

The weather was miserable and the hustle and bustle of the city was tiring so we flagged down a cab to take us back to Zion, only this cab driver told me he knew where it was, truth was he didn’t really have a clue, he got us to the right neighbourhood and after driving around in circles for a bit we had to stop to pick up a local to direct us back to the place. Note to self, don’t stay in hostels outside of cities again, especially not in Africa!

We relaxed in the courtyard at our guest house playing countless games of Uno and Mancala before having a great dinner of beef kebabs and a chat with a chap from Mali about the problems there at the moment. A lot of people had told us that Mali was fine and perfectly safe, but the two Malian people we’d spoken to in Burkina both said the same thing, if it were safe, they wouldn’t be in Burkina! Good point I suppose..

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