As usual I woke up after only a few hours of sleep. So I was awake at three when Andrea wandered in to use the bathroom (she had borrowed my sleeping bag and decided to sleep on the roof) I talked to her for a few minutes then she went back to the roof. A few minutes later she was back - everything she'd left on the roof was gone (including my sleeping bag). The guard was down in the courtyard and immediately started searching - but no sign. In the ten minutes that Andrea was gone someone had climbed up to the roof (no idea how, it had to be 15 feet high) and taken everything - the mattress, pillow, sheets, and sleeping bag! Very annoying.
With four hours of sleep. we were at the gare before 7, waiting for the bâché to fill up. Just after noon we're finally on our way (a 5+ hour wait for a 2- hour drive). The our would-be guides attacked before the bâché had even come to a stop. We found one that had been recommended, but he can't go so he recommenced a friend. We made our arrangements (argued about price, wrote up a contract, and agreed to meet at 4:15 to head out). Found a small restaurant and had a great lunch of Tigadigana (peanut) sauce and rice. A rough hour ride to the trail head at Dourou and we begin our four days of trekking.
The hike starts out across some beautiful desert terrain, then cuts down a canyon that opens up looking down the escarpment over a wonderland of flat desert, lush trees, small villages, and rocky mesas / plateaus. Get in to the village of Nombori just after dark. Nombori is wonderfully picturesque, with cliff dwellings (ruins, and maybe some still in use?) perched above the village. The newer section of the village (farther from the escarpment's face) was the same construction as the old section, round mud brick houses, small graceful mud mosques, and little square thatched one room buildings (look like classic outhouses) built in compound walls (also - surprise - made of mud). We slept on mats under the stars on a rooftop. The sounds of distant drumming, not so distant chanting and yelling (?), and lots of animal noises serenaded us to sleep.