MALI: Places
In Neni I drank attaya with a
Frenchman named Paschal.  He's
been living in the Neni for the last
month and hopes to stay throughout
the year.  He and his brother
crossed the Sahara in a mini-bus
via the mine fields in
Mauritania.....without an escort.   
They were hoping to pass through
Senegal but the Duane refused
them, saying that their car was "too
old" to come in the country.........  
How 'bout that!    So they had to
continue though no roads Mauritania
to get to Mali.   Anyways, Paschal
liked Neni and decided to stay - by
himself with little support.  Du
courage, man.
Ogon House in Neni
Telem Houses in Yougah piri
Telem Houses in Yougah
The Telem were the first inhabitants of the "falaise" before the Dogon came and kicked them out.  Their houses,
which are all abandoned, are high in the steep cliffs.  These building are pretty big.  Most Telem dwellings are tiny
hovels hidden in the cracks of the rock.  During my first trip to Dogon Country I was told that the Telem were  
pygmies that were driven out by the Dogon about 700 years ago but my guide said that there are Telem villages  in
nearby Burkina Faso .....and the people are tall, hardly pygmies.
Streets of Ileri
Mopti is definitely the
cross-roads of Mali.  It is a
flavorable city with many
different people -- Turegs,
Fulas, Bozos, Dogon, etc, etc.  
The city is bustling with boats
and buses traveling the Niger
and Bani Rivers from Timbuktu
to Goa.  It is also bustling with
riffraff.  "Guides" are constantly
asking to help and when I was
there most of the "guides" had
been put in the clink in
anticipation for a Jacque
Chirac's visit.  A rug seller, the
bastard, did the old
switch-a-roo with me.  I
bargained hard for a gorgeous
rug I didn't want and then he
gave me the ugly rug I definitely
didn't want.    Other than that the
mosques is your quintessential
Sahelian architecture and
getting lost in the alleys of the
old city is totally worth the time
Sheep loitering in front of the Hogon in Ileri:
A hogon is a strategically designed meeting place for the elders.  In the case that an
arguement heats up, the beligerients are forced to remain seated in fear that they
would hit their head on the ceiling of the squat architecture of the structure.
The costs were pretty simple.  The trip was 17,500 CFA per day (if you are traveling with more people the cost should
be less).  This included the guide's charge, food, campament fee, and visit taxes.   Drinks in the villages were on me.
I also had to pay 12,500 CFA for a taxi to drop us off in Sanga and 7,000 CFA to pick us up in Dourou.  My guide,
who I suggest, was Amadou Ouologuem (Wologem) of Koro.  You can find him at Hotel L'Aventure in Koro or call
him at 2-42-01-91 or ouologuem2@yahoo.com.  

If you plan to go to Dogon Country via Bamako, I suggest staying in Severe over Mopti.  Mopti is definitely lively but I
tried looking for places there and the rooms were gross, especially for the cost and the owners of the hotel were rude.
 Severe while tamer is only 10 min away by taxi.   There are numerous kind and polite hotels and restaurants.  I
suggest Mac's Refuge.  It is a nice spot, a little out of the way but the breakfast.........did I say pancakes, yoghurt and
muesli.  Besides it feels like B&B back home......people sittin' chattin' and eating together.   Also check out Peace
Corps Baba for knick-knacks (and e-mail) they are a little more expensive but good quality and no hassle (and I like
to bargain).
Market Mosque in Ileri
Mopti Port
Graineries in Dourou