10-Apr-2008 -- This is the 18th of a series of 83 confluence visits during our voyage from Nigeria to Europe and back to Nigeria around the entire African continent. It all started on 28 January at 11N 5E.
Story continues from 13N 5W.
Several days ago at Jutta's little guesthouse at Sévaré near Mopti, we meet first Renate and after a couple of cold beers later also her travelling companion Walter, who was resting after the long journey from Senegal. The beers tasted exceptionally good this day and the discussions in the group resulted that we will make a joint tour through the Dogon country.
The homeland of the Dogon people is arrayed above and below the huge Falaise de Bandiagara, which extends some 150 km through the Sahel to the East of Mopti. The landscape is just stunning. The Dogon are noted for their complex and elaborate culture, art forms, and unique houses and granaries clinging to the bare rock face of the escarpment.
The next day Walter and Renate made arrangements to hire a 4x4 with driver and the following morning we were on the way. We drove from Sévaré to Bandiagara and down the escarpment to Dourou where we spent the first night. The next morning we where strolling around the village guided by one of the staff of the campground where we had spent the night. After this most interesting walk, we continued to the village Tirelli, then further on to Amani where we visited the sacred crocodile pond. A few hundred meters from this pond towards the village of Iréli we stopped when we spotted some villagers being busy roasting pieces of freshly slaughtered pork meat. I could not resist the temptation and tested a small bit. The meat was so delicious that we took out some bread from our vehicle and ordered some more and had a great feast. In the meantime Walter and Renate had stopped and parked their vehicle still in viewing distance away and thought we were purchasing something. We in turn thought they do not like "Schweinsbraten" (roasted pork). Sorry guys, you lost out on one of a hell of a delicious meal.
The next stop was the village Banani where we all had something to drink and continued afterwards to the village Kundu where we spent the second night. The next morning we drove back with one vehicle to Banani and up the escarpment to Bongo, hired a guide which lead us down the escarpment back to Banani where our driver Abdrahamane already waited for us. It was a very nice walk and not to be missed by anyone visiting this area. After some refreshments, which mainly consisted of lots of beers and a dash of tonic at the local campground, we continued to Yenndouma, where we spent the third night.
The next morning we took one car again and the guide from the campground and went to the village Yougopiri. Yougopiri is a couple of hundred meters up the hill; our driver dropped us at the bottom and we continued on foot up the hill with our guide to the village, went through the village, and then further up to the top and crossed the plateau (approximately 3 km) and descended on the other side through a gorge to the village of Yougodogorou and then down the hill where our driver was waiting for us. From the entire fantastic walks we did in the Dogon country, this was the most fascinating one.
We returned to the campground, had our usual refreshments, and continued via Bamba to Douentza. At Douentza we looked for a suitable campground and had our usual refreshments. There was still time to visit the confluence 15N 3W, which is situated 6 km outside the town in the direction of Mopti – so off we went and not much later we were 33 meters from the Confluence, then the climbing up the hill consisting of huge boulders began. It was quite a task, but eventually we succeeded. There was only one more problem: to get the picture with all those zeros lined up. Very nerve ragging to hop around in these boulders and not get the desired result. Eventually, at 5:15 p.m., after several attempts, we were successful.
It was Renate's and Walter's first visit of a Confluence and both entirely enjoyed the experience to find, as I believe, still a virgin Confluence. After an extended photo session with Walter making all variations of group photos, we returned to Douentza and celebrated our successful visit to the Confluence with some more beers. During the following day and numerous discussions in the group, we decided to name this Confluence "Seou-Seou", which is part of the greeting in the Dogon country.
Continued at 13N 7W.