Day 44: Mopti to Dogon Country
The road begins to drop down in a series of hairpin bends, bouncing us up and down and side to side at the same time. Despite this, I fall into a brief doze as we reach the valley floor.
I'm woken by a ferocious revving of engines. Our four-wheel drive is sliding about, out of control, rushing forwards then slipping back. Our driver brakes, reverses, revs up again and charges forward. By the light of our crazily swinging headlights I can see what the problem is. We're halfway up a sand dune and the wheels are unable to grip.
A voice shouts out of the darkness. One of the other vehicles has come back to lead us up. This time we make it, up over the rise, and our driver sweeps alongside his colleagues as if he'd just won a Grand Prix rather than nearly killed us.
In a shallow bowl of sand, ringed with low bushes, stands a semicircle of small tents. To one side, beneath one of the few trees of any size, a fire is burning. I've lost count of the hours since we left the banks of the Bani river, but it doesn't matter now. We're in Dogon Country, and this is our new home.
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