. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: October 30, 1998

Friday, October 30, 1998
Ségou to Niger River (East of Ségou), Mali
Mali's Flag

Niger River (East of Ségou), Mali:
Latitude: 13° 27' 40" North
Longitude: 6° 15' 59" West
Altitude: 721 feet
From Seattle: 7357 miles
Lodging: Transit - Compagnie Malienne de Navigation Bateau Tombouctou

Today's Travel:
Country: Mali
Regions: Ségou, Mopti
Route: Compagnie Malienne de Navigation river boat
Path:Ségou - Niger River (East of Ségou), Mali
Weather: Partial Sun / Rain / Overcast

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 568
Linear Dist: 127383
Countries Visited: 39
Regions Visited: 163
More stats...
Hotels: 170
Friends / Family: 155
Camping: 43
Hostels: 142
Transit: 51
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2005

Journal Entry:
Sleeping out on the patio meant that I got up when the rest of the world did (way to early, around six). Hung out at the house again (selected a couple books to trade - new books! and in English!). Wandered around town looking to explore the market but spent most of the time we had arguing (bargaining) over material that Andrea had made into a wrap skirt (and altered) in about 15 minutes (with some shouting). Rushed to the ferry, but it was two hours late so we had more time to kill. Walked around the market some more spending most of the time in the fetish stalls. These were a lot more sanitary (and thus more browsable if not quite as interesting) than the stalls in Bamako.

Got to the ferry just as it was pulling in. I found the head guy almost immediately and asked him to assign us a cabin. He needed to go get the final paperwork and told me to wait there and he'd be right back. After more than half an hour I realized that other people who had been waiting for the boat were already moved into cabins so I went looking for the guy and found him up in the ticket office assigning cabins. Of course he'd just given away the last cabin and there were no more. Obviously I was a little annoyed (ok, pissed off) and I tried to make a huge fuss, but it was pretty difficult since my French is severely lacking and his English was nonexistent. Finally we had two options. One was third class with twelve people in a cabin and no locks or ventilation (one sniff near the toilet convinced me that this would be pure hell). The other option was to move up to "Lux" class (for $150 more!) - with self contained air-conditioned cabins. I opted for the later although I was so pissed I was close to getting off and wasting a week or forgetting the ferry (and Timbuktu) - even though it was made quite clear that there would be no refund. No food on board until diner, and the A/C in the cabin (which the captain made such a big deal about when he was trying to sell me on upgrading) doesn't work did not encourage any improvement in my attitude.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Mali
CIA World Fact Book: Mali

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