I'm in Bamako, Mali

hieronymus

Adventurer
We all know the borders in the south of Algeria (our planned target), where the three countries come together (AL Ma en NI) mean nothing to local 'fighters'. So chances of running into these guys are equal, whatever side of the border you are....especially travelling in a convoy of 6 goodlooking 4x4's...not very low profile. Being responsible for a dozen people, it's not so strange Chris called it off for the moment.
 

jdayment

Observer
I'm in Bamako right now and consider it safe my wife goes grocery shopping and to the markets by herself no issues. The people here are generally very nice. Don't let the actions of a few sour your impression of an entire people.
 

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JayGannon

Adventurer
Would you send your wife to Taoudenni to do shopping?
I know that I'm coming across quite headstrong, but somehow you seem to impart that you have greater knowledge of these areas than the people that are even living in them? I honestly don't understand this..

Surely you would take the advice of a local or a fixer from the area over the advice of CNN or any news outlet? I understand there are risks, but the risks are massively overstated by western media, I know this, I've made reports that I've filed sound like there's no way anyone should go to an area when in fact its relatively safe when you take the adequate precautions. Thats just journalism.

As to the previous question, yes I am aware of the dfference between tribal/local borders and offical state borders. And if it was me leading the convoy yes I would have made the decision to keep going, I probably would have brought a local fixer if there wasnt already one of the cew, but the actions of few do not represent the actions and the saftey-risk analysis of an entire region.

By the way I dont mean this as a personal attack on your hieronymous, its more jsut an issue I take to heart in general.
 

hieronymus

Adventurer
You made your point Gayjannon, all I want to know from jdayment, who is moving freely around the save capital of Mali, what he thinks of the situation in the north of the country.
 

jdayment

Observer
You made your point Gayjannon, all I want to know from jdayment, who is moving freely around the save capital of Mali, what he thinks of the situation in the north of the country.
The situation in the North is very interesting in where it is improving greatly I understand what you see in the news and here about all of the AQIM stuff but I have traveled to the north several times I feel just as safe there as here. The north can be a scary place all I am saying is don't generalize an entire country into what one group is doing. I don't spend all of my time in the Capital. The kidnap of the world is actually Pheonix, AZ where the drug cartels are kidnapping people all of the time so are you going to reccomend people don't travel to the US? or there is a murder every other day in Detroit so do we tell people not to come the US. Anywhere you go in the world there is a threat of some crime whether petty or terrorism.
 

xr8dxj

Adventurer
I will be back in Bamako the next Monday evening (Jan 18th). I've just been informed that the US Embassy is restricting our movement [denying us access] out to Mopti/Sevare and Gao. So this trip will be restricted to Bamako & possibly Segou.
 
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Fifthpro

Adventurer
I will be back in Bamako the next Monday evening (Jan 18th). I've just been informed that the US Embassy is restricting our movement [denying us access] out to Mopti/Sevare and Gao. So this trip will be restricted to Bamako & possibly Segou.
I see that you are arriving tonight. I PM'ed you my telephone number. If you need something call me. I live here in Bamako and have for a few months now. You will love the place and the people. Nicest West African Country I have been to and I have see a few.

Cheers!
Fifthpro
 

xr8dxj

Adventurer
Well I'm back from Bamako after a cooling off for a few days in Germany. I had a blast and can't wait to go back. I want to get my money's worth out of my 5-yr, multi-entry visa!

I exchanged $100 as soon as I got off the plane (for beer money) at a 450CFA:1USD exchange rate. The next morning I exchanged $1500 at a 455:1 rate. The next day the rate jumped to 464:1 so I grabbed another $100 worth. I'm glad I grabbed all that cash because the Maxi Car's credit/debit machine was on the fritz again so they were only accepting cash again. I managed to get the same vehicle and driver from Maxi Car at a rate of 65,000CFA / day and interpreter for 20,000CFA / day. Fuel was going for 560CFA / liter and 555CFA / liter for gas and diesel, respectively.

I ate more street vendor food than my previous trip paying 2000CFA for a beef shawarma and 1000CFA for a 1.5L of water of bottle of beer. It was significantly more expensive for dinner which ranged from 12,000CFA to 20,000CFA depending on how much I drank that night.

We had a minor vehicle collision while coming back from a pub late one night. After the guy that hit us discovered that I wasn't about the pay him and that I actually wanted money from him the cops told him to scram after "taking their report." Of course that took about three hours to resolve.

This visit I was determined to see more of the sights more so than my last visit; such as the zoo, different pubs, restaurants, etc. We were able to check out the new Chinese restaurant and got to experience first hand the difficulty of ordering Chinese food in French. If you're ever in Bamako I HIGHLY suggest you check out the the Le Savane restaurant... it's my new fave.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to meet both jdayment & fifthpro. It's always fun to enjoy a beer(s) with new friends on another continent. Sad to say, but I think I'm actually used to Castel and Flag beer now... I look forward to sharing more in the future perhaps.

Here are a few pics from the trip and the link to more pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xr8dxj/sets/72157623287850224/show/








 
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Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
well, if anyone of you in Bamako can/want to do me a favor, I am still looking for someone to go check out if our car is still there in storage please pm me - I would appreciate.

thanks

:)
 
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jdayment

Observer
Glad you had fun the wife says next time you are out you have to look for some Leinenkugels Berryweis to bring over they sell it in CO so look for it because you are crazy saying Castel or Flag is good. Cheers!
 
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