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Bush Taxi to Bandiagara

Mac drops us at the bus station and our names are the first on the list for the bush taxi to Bandiagara. Bush taxis and buses in Mali don’t have a set time schedule. They leave when they are full and full in Mali has a very different meaning than we might be used to. Full in Mali means packed like a tin of sardines.

We prepare ourselves for a long wait. It’s 8:45am and the sun is already getting hot. Phil takes advantage of some free time in the shade of the bus shelter to finish off securing The Ball’s net on to Andrew’s backpack.

Phil fixes a net for The Ball to Andrew's backpackPhil fixes a net for The Ball to Andrew’s backpack

Back in 2002, Christian and Phil carried The Ball in this net to the World Cup in Korea & Japan. It helps to keep The Ball safe and reduces the stress of those “Where is The Ball?” moments that happen nearly every day. Those moments of panic can be done without.

Two hours later and the minibus is full with 16 people, including three children, and we are ready to cram ourselves in. Our gear is strapped on the roof.

The bags on the bus go on the roofThe bags on the bus go on the roof
Our fellow passengersOur fellow passengers

We take it upon ourselves to tell our fellow passengers about The Ball and one of them is so taken by it that he decides he must kiss it.

The Ball gets a big old kissThe Ball gets a big old kiss

We arrive in Bandiagara and head to Hotel la Falaise to meet Mousa, our guide for the Dogon Country, and plan our solitary night in the region with him. Mousa is born and bred Dogon, and he suggests we spend our night in his village, Teli.

Written by on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

1 comment on this post

  1. Philpot (and Team)! How brilliant that you made it out there! Have just read the latest, and Liz and I are mightily impressed. Makes us think we’re having rather an easy ‘ride’ of it, what with regular ice cream supplies when we get to towns and temperatures dropping to below 30c at night if we’re lucky. Plus a language that we can speak.

    Hope Soph and Jasper are well and not missing you too badly. What globetrotters we all are!

    Much love from Argentina,


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The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.