Pat and Richard in West Africa 2011 travel blog

Kunta and Amadou buying cooked meat at the market

Sheep awaiting sale and slaughter

The 600km from Kayes to Bamako took nearly 12 hours. the first 150km or so at snail pace due to the shocking condition of the road. Broken down trucks everywhere and those that were running were so overloaded and with broken springs so they leaned dramatically over to one side and you wondered how they would remain upright. We saw trucks that had toppled over, with people frantically trying to retrieve the goods before they disappeared.

We stopped at a market on the way - Kunta was looking for a sheep for the forthcoming Tabaski celebration, a big holiday in Mali, for his family to barbecue, and was planning to put the sheep on the car roof to take home. But the sheep were too expensive so he didn't buy one. He and Amadou, both meat eaters in a big way, had to content themselves with buying cooked lamb from a stall in the market.

We finally arrived in Bamako around 6.30. Today (Thursday) we have had a lazy day with just a visit to the Burkina Faso embassy to get our visas. Tomorrow, Friday, we start early for the 500km drive into Burkina Faso where we will stay for a few days.

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