Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

Destination: all the way..........


Back in Mali

Week 03 - 05, monday 13 January 2014 - sunday 02 February  2014.

After three weeks riding through Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea I made it back to the  Capital of Mali, Bamako. The crossing into Mali is easy again. As I reach the border to exit Guinea I have a nice chat with different border officials. They all ask me how my trip was and when I tell them that I had a incredible time in Guinea there appears a big smile on there face. One of them invite me to drink a thee with them as some kind of good-bye ceremony and after many handshakes I’m finally allowed to leave. There is about one kilometer of no mans land before I reach the frontier of Mali. By checking my passport they see it is my second time entering Mali. I tell them that I love Mali and that before I heading further south I like to spend some more time in Bamako. I seems to become better and better in handling officials because they also invite me to drink thee with them. The official routine takes only a few minutes and with a friendly female police officer it goes all smooth. The gendarmerie checks my papers and the customs don’t give me a Laissez-Passer. So I enter the country without any costs, what leaves the question what will happen when I leave the country and I can not hand over a Laissez-Passer. Well that will be something for later for now I head towards Bamako. With only 127 kilometer to go I speed up till 100km/h and arrive at the sleeping camel within one and a half hour. I’m glad to be there again and with surprise I see another Dutch motorbike with a BMW R1200GSA. Peter has been to Timbuktu and beside the escorts all the way he enjoyed the trip and now he is on the way back to Holland. There is also one of the two Greek guys on his vespa who I have met in Chefchaouen in Morocco. He tells me that his friend has turned around and now he is riding together with a English guy Liam who rides a c90. And finally there is Casper from the camping in Manatali who is in Bamako to pick up some quests. I have a great evening with all of them exchanging stories of our previous travels in Africa so far. One of the reasons that I wanted to be back in Bamako is because Ruud, a guy I have met before, is returning to Bamako in a couple of weeks and I want to ask him to bring some stuff from Holland. After contacting him he agrees to bring the things I need. So I contact my sister to send him the carnet de passage. I order a new rear-tire and let it deliver at his address. I also contact my friend Annelies and ask her to sent a water-filter to Ruud. And so I’m very happy to be able to get my stuff in Bamako. The only downside now is that for an unknown reason my bank in Holland has closed my internet login on one of my accounts. Unfortunately I’m not able to get it restored while I’m in Mali. Luckily I still have money left on my credit-card and hope to be able to reach South-Africa with that amount. After a couple of days Steve also arrives at the campground and with the others we have some great time. We explore the area a bit more and we find another nice place to eat local food.

On Saturday Ruud arrives in Bamako and gives me the water-filter. Unfortunately he was not able to bring the rear tyre and the Carnet de Passage had not arrived yet. So now I have to wait to more weeks here in Bamako till his Girlfriends comes. She will bring the rear tyre and hopefully the carnet de passage.

I apply for or Ghana visa at the embassy in Bamako and had no problems at all. I had to hand over five copies of the application form, five photographs and a letter in which I explain why I apply for a visa in Mali, how I’m thinking to travel in Ghana and where I planning to go in Ghana. After doing all this, they ask me to come back in two days which I was happy to do. Back at the campground I start painting the remaining flags of the countries I have visit on my motorbike. All together I have visit by 36 countries and territories and the bike become colorful with all the flags on it. Two days later I head back to the Ghana Embassy and I got my passport back with a three months visa in it for Ghana, I’m so happy. On the HUBB ( they write that Ghana is one of the most difficult visa to get out site your home country. They next day I’m heading to the Nigerian Embassy and meet there a very friendly guy who turns out to be the secretary of the Consulate. We have some chat about football and of course we have to name all the know players again. The procedure for the visa is also here very strait forward and after filling in the application form and two photographs they ask me to wait. After two hours waiting they give me a one months visa for Nigeria. After explaining that that would not be enough they tell me to extend the visa inTogo or Benin before entering Nigeria. The reason is that they can not issue a three months visa because of the current situation in the country. Back at the campground I meet a girl, Katharine, from Slovenia who came all the way down on a pushbike. There was also a French guy, Maxime, who is also riding a pushbike. They are both heading to South Africa. When they apply for a visa at the Nigerian embassy they got a three months visa. I head the next day to the Nigerian embassy again and explain them my situation again and now it is possible to get a three months visa.

I fill my days with writing my blog, reading books and eat a lot of food. When Ruud’s girlfriend arrives she brings only the rear tyre because the carnet de passage hadn’t arrived yet. So I have to try to enter Ghana without a carnet de passage. I contact my sister and she contact the ADAC in Germany to ask them if it is possible to get another carnet de passage. Luckily for me it is possible and the deposit will be transferred to the new carnet de passage. The only extra costs are the application fee and that is always better than losing the deposit. But for now I will head towards Burkina Faso and Ghana without a carnet de passage, because otherwise I have to wait another couple of weeks in Bamako before getting de carnet de passage. If the don’t let me in to Ghana without de carnet de passage I will go strait to Togo, so there is always a way around.

In the next update I will tell you everything about my adventures of Burkina Faso and how my entering into Ghana went.

Dinner with the others.
Liam and the Greek on a C90 and a Vespa.
The mystery of the missing sock.
Maxime the push-biker from French.
My new rear-tire and my new buddy.
Painting the missing flags.
And more flags.

Countries I have visited: