Calendar   Home
Previous Day November 1, 2001 Next Day
On our fourth day of driving through Mali we saw no other traffic today, not even a donkey cart. It seems that even an ass knows not to use this dirt track in the heat of midday. A dust cloud follows our vehicle like a persistent beggar. Occasionally we pass a Fulani and his herd of goats or long-horned cattle. We pass small, nameless villages, twenty or so people living in mud huts next to a well. They farm millet and groundnuts. The women pound the millet into flour using mortar and pestle. Naked young children wave at our truck and run from cameras. Outside the villages the landscape hasn't changed since Senegal: flat, dotted with short, hardy trees or bushy scrub. Between the trees, yellow grass grows thinly over red soil. The red earth seems to burn under the sun, reflecting heat and pushing the mercury over the 40 degree Celsius mark. Locals tells us that this is the cool season. This semi-arid vegetation zone is called the Sahel and it stretches for thousands of kilometers, from Senegal to Chad on the southern fringe of the Sahara desert. We look at the locals with respect; what is adventure travel to us is a home to them.
Pounding millet into flour the old fashioned way.
The local cash crop is groundnut, which look like a small type of peanut to our eyes. These women spend today harvesting the groundnut fields.
These really are longhorns, but unlike Texans the locals call these cattle Fula.
Fulani herder.