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December 9, 2012 / samwilson60

Gone wild

By the time we’d found our perfect spot for night one outside the city, we’d also hatched a plan for how best to use the fuel and time available to us while awaiting the verdict on our Nigerian visas. The first night’s camp was accompanied by only the odd goat, the distant braying of a donkey or two and our first-ever meteor sighting. Just what the doctor ordered!

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As we continued our loop around the countryside, staying at least 100km from the city at any given point, we encountered many beautiful villages and a surprisingly diverse landscape. We had one slightly uncomfortable moment with a lone guy in military dress, armed heavily but otherwise friendly. Typically he was the first official in Burkina to ask to see our passports, which we had to explain were in the hands of the Nigerians in Ouaga. He wasn’t overly impressed but accepted the photocopies we presented and waved us on our way, after pointing out that they had not been duly legalised. We left visibly relieved, hoping that this would this would be a one-off.

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The rest of the day passed uneventfully and night two was as good and even more deserted a wild camp as the first, in an area that felt comfortingly familiar from our time in the Malian Sahel a few years previously. Once again, the most fabulous starry sky, after a magical sunset, and once again we awoke to the sun rising and a day of beautiful red-brown piste and pretty, friendly villages in the “lake district” of Burkina Faso.

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At one in particular, we spied a man in the process of weaving the grain stores we’d been admiring throughout our little jaunt, so we pulled up for a chat in the hope of some photos too. The language barrier was evident but in every other way he made it clear that he was more than happy for us to admire his handiwork and document it for the family back home.

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Night three in the wild was harder to find, as the vegetation going south again grew more dense and cultivated. But we persevered and found a secluded spot in a clearing, with the donkeys and yam bashing only faintly audible in the distance.

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