Kayes, Mali

16 Nov

Fleuve Senegal, Vue Hotel Khasso, Kayes, Mali © Erin Lau, 2011

My sketchbook doesn’t do a good job of explaining how we got from Senegal to Mali, and that’s because we barely had time to enjoy the journey outside of a cramped, pothole-dodging vehicle. We spent two days getting to Mali, from Kolda. First we took a sept-place Peugeot wagon to Tambacounda, in Senegal, and stayed the night there (after getting in around 4p). Then we took another sept-place to the border, got another taxi to take us across the bridge separating the two countries, and once on the Mali side, waited in the simmering heat for the bus to leave for Kayes. Once in Kayes, which is about four hours away from the border, there were only a couple hours of daylight left to see the surroundings. Luckily our hotel was along the Senegal River, which was a perfect sketching opportunity. There was a lot of agriculture along the river, growing corn and onions in the red, sandy soil. Kayes is actually known as the hottest city in Africa, owing to the iron in the surrounding hills that cause it to heat up like an oven. This worried me, as we made our way from one sizzling location to the next, I feared that Kayes would be unbearable. But luckily, it was no hotter than any other destination so far, and if anything, the heat was dry rather than wet. We were back on the road early the next day headed for Bamako, the capital, so unfortunately there was not much time to see the city of Kayes.

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