Saturday, April 21

Burkina Faso - Mini Break

Brett: Burkina Faso has a very friendly and relaxed feel as soon as you cross the border. We headed towards Sindou on the perfect tree lined dirt roads and camped at Campment Soutrala ($2pp) where we spent the sweltering (42 degrees) afternoon in the hammocks in the shade of the mango trees. Just before sunset we found enough energy to stroll through the Sindou Peaks ($1.5pp) but we were both feeling a little sick – possibly a mild version of whatever bug Mike and Emma had in Ivory Coast. The campsite is situated between some huts and shaded by lots of trees – it’s fairly well thought out and the food and background music were great too.
We left late in the morning and went to the Karfiguela Cascades ($2pp). They are very pretty, but lots of litter. It is a popular spot with the locals and we swam to cool off. On the way back we stopped at McDonalds in Banfora, an incredibly busy and awesome burger joint. We stuffed ourselves and rolled out the door.
The traffic got busier as we reached Bobo-Dioulasso - we camped in the courtyard at Casa Africa ($3pp) and used tons of their water to wash the red dust off the car and all our clothes. Casa Africa is a nice shady spot with a very zen garden and owners. We stocked up massively at the Marina Market, the biggest supermarket in town, and had a large salad at one of he local cafes (part of Mary’s 5 a day mission – or more like 5 a week the way we have been going). The centre of town is surprisingly calm and not that busy. We parked at the Grand Mosque and did the tour of the insides as well as of the old town across the street ($15 + tips). The mosque is awesome, built in Sahel style with mud and wooden struts (we don’t have any photos from this time, for reasons which will be explained in the Ghana post, but have found a few from the internet). Our guide, Ben, was great, showing us the animist fetish, the brewery hut and the first house to be built in Bobo in around 1100AD (we didn’t really believe the date). The tourist shops had great stock and, with some difficulty, Mary resisted the temptation to buy the whole lot.
Car Stuff: Our second (fridge) battery finally gave in, so we bought a new 100Ah battery in a local shop – a first for me since the battery was sealed but empty – they guy filled it with battery acid, left it to stand a while and then charged it for a few hours – seems to work, although 43 C is still too much for it work properly.
We had another evening of getting through a bunch of chores. We really like Burkina Faso, but with the Mali issues, we only had a short while left on our Ghana visas, so we decided to head off early in the morning for the border along all new tar roads. 
We lost the photos from Burkina and some of Ghana when the laptop was stolen, so here are some photos from the web so you can get an idea.

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