Tombouctou or bust

Timbuktu Travel Blog

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on route

I was up early after a restless nights sleep and on the bike by 7.30am, guess I had the last sandy 100km on my mind. 

It was nice and cool on the dirt track north and the graded route was good with some rough sections, had a big rebound off one part cut away by water.  Progress was nice and the last 100km section was being improved, hard fill being levelled into the rutted sandy sections.  There was no dunes in sight but it did deflate my tyres a bit to give better traction through the increasing sandy parts.  The last 50km was more difficult, it had some really deep sandy ruts and the local traffic had made alternative routes by the sides.  It was a bit of a gamble which was better for the bike, the main route could be rough but hard and the side routes could be more sandy.

Mopti - largest mud mosque in the world, so they say
  Had a couple of big wobbles but managed to accelerate through it.  Then it sandy ruts gave way to a thin firm raised route into the Niger river with water on each side, it was really nice.

At the end was a small fishing village with the track down the middle with a small drive on boat waiting.  I had some nice rice and a cold drink before the boat took the 20minuet crossing to the other side, the people in the village waved and smiled, a friendly bunch.  So my worry about the route being 100km of sand had come to nothing but most of the 200km was spent sanding up on the pegs, you really have to judge what people tell you, some haven't got a clue and just make up a good storey which doesn't do you any favours so I spend a lot of my time wandering if the people I'm talking to can be trusted and making my decisions.

It was a short ride into Tombouctou, I had made it!  The first thing I did was to check my email for emails from other people I had meet but didn't see any to say they also had made it.  I tried to send them emails to say I had arrive but the Arabic style keyboards were driving me crazy and a really bad connect meant it took me 20mins to send two very short one line emails.  I found a cheaper hotel and had my bike parked right outside my room in an inner court yard.  I could stop and rest.


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on route
on route
Mopti - largest mud mosque in the …
Mopti - largest mud mosque in the…
the start of the route to Timbuktu
the start of the route to Timbuktu
rest break
rest break
boat across the river Niger
boat across the river Niger
life on the Niger
life on the Niger
more of the Niger
more of the Niger
Timbuktu