If Mali is dry, then
Burkina is hot. We have hung a thermometer from the CB mount between the
front two seats, so that we can fully appreciate our discomfort. The day can
start in the arctic thirties, but by 10 a.m. it's forty, and by midday it my
well hit fifty (122°F).
You water bottle gets so
warm you might as well add a tea bag to it. The Brownchurch shower delivers
hot water as if by magic. And woe betide the man who tries to shower from a
water tank that has been in the sun.
After the dryness of Mali
the heat of Burkina conspires to rob us of our rubber seals - the slave
cylinders on the clutch that failed were symptoms of a greater malaise that
affects both man and machine.
We leave the sanctuary of
our poolside campsite and head south to Bobo, to find that people tut when
we say we have come from Waga, and say it is too hot there. It dawns on me
that Waga is some five degrees warmer that the rest of the country. Silly
place to put a capital then, one would think.
Bobo is where I get a
slow puncture fixed, and this leads to the discovery that the hand brake is
binding a little, so that means another bloody day in a garage. Is this
really to become the Africa land Rover Garage review? It only takes a couple
of hours, so I use the time to repair a knackered camp chair.
Now this is one of the
new cleverly jointed ones that fold into a stick, only the plastic of the
complicatedly moulded three-plane joints is too brittle and has now failed
of is failing on four of the eight nodes. The easy thing to do would be to
chuck it and buy a new one, only I haven't seen a camp chair for sale since
Spain. The African solution is marvellous in both its simplicity and its
cunning. Take off a good plastic joint, make a mould, and cast the new
joints in aluminium. For six quid. Only in Africa.
But if you think that
this would be the highlight of the Burkina experience you would be wrong.
That came in a cyber cafe in Waga where I found myself uploading these pages
next to a group of Nigerians. They were meticulously crafting an email which
involved a great deal of cutting a pasting of email addresses. The BCC filed
had to contain thousands of recipients. And of course it was a mail inviting
you to give them your bank account details so that they could remit the $20m
that they had skimmed from the highways budget.
When I found out what
they were doing they were delighted that I knew the scam, and took real
pride in their work. So I gave them your email address.