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31st January 2007

"Bamako was actually closed down for the first three days I was there, coinciding with the weekend around New Year. I have a strong memory of strolling out in the darkness on the first evening, a certain excitement at being in this city famous for music, sandy streets barely illuminated, activity and noise all around..."

Hugh is still in Bobo Dialasso and the emails are coming thick and fast. He has just copied me on an article he has submitted to the Irish Times for publication, Phil Cawley from TodayFM is lining up an interview with Hugh for his lunchtime show, and we have the next stage of his journey taking us all the way to Bamako in Mali.


24th January 2007
"Staying in place called Casa Africa, a compound on outskirts of Bobo Dialasso, lovely shaded coutyard, simple concrete room with bed and steel table and plug socket - all I need!" An update from Hugh including an incident best not mentioned to Mom and Dad!

READ UPDATE from Mauritania

"Still aiming to head across Burkina to Niger, down to Kano in Nigeria and across to Cameroon by Maduiguri- Mora border. Idea is to spend as little time in Nigeria as possible - hasn't got great reputation. Only snag is my information is they don't issue Cameroon visa at that border. Further research needed on internet and just head there and try. Any travellers I've met head down to Ghana which is supposed to be enjoyable, cheap and easy to travel in, beaches, rainforest. Then across Togo, Benin, Nigeria. I'll wait 'til further south before finding beach to kick back in."

18th January 2007
Just received an email from Hugh:
"Have just returned to Mopti by 3 day trip up Niger river from Timbuktu on a pinasse with bike - what a magnificent way to travel. Enforced idleness. Getting the bike to Timbuktu was great, very satisfying though toughest riding yet. Festival a very special experience - at times thrilling music, regal Tuaregs on camels, desert setting. Will sit down soon and do a catch up on Updates. Spending day here going over the bike and changing back to road tyres - it took a real battering but performed brilliantly. Very happy with it. Then tomorrow see Djenne, and on towards Bobo Diallasso in Burkina where Ill hole up for a while and catch up."

And, same day, received an email from KCLR 96FM in Kilkenny with a copy of their chat with Hugh from before Christmas.
Interview with Hugh by Sue Nunn on KCLR 96FM.

10th January 2007

Hi Sean from Mopti
Just returned from four days walking in Dogon country - another world. Will report. Lads gone off in 4x4 to Timbuktu, have changed tyres (again) and am off on bike now. Off to Timbuktu! Intend to spend some time in Bobo Dialasso in Burkina catching up. Iggy also.
Hope all well
READ UPDATE from Western Sahara

4th January 2007
A keenly anticipated update from Hugh after his brief diversion to the Jean Michel Jarre concert. Latest news is that Hugh has met up with Patrick, John and Paddy in Bamako, Mali and plans are now being drawn up for the trip out to the Festival-au-Desert.
READ UPDATE from Southern Morocco

Christmas Day 2006
Hugh phoned Mom and Dad and had a long chat. He spent Christmas Day in Nouakchott, capital of Mauritania, just 5km from the ocean. The plan is to spend Saint Stephen's Day servicing the bike (which has now covered about 9,000kms), then to head for Bamako in Mali via Kayes and Nioro. Hugh hopes to arrive in Bamako by Tuesday 2nd January to meet up with Patrick, John and Paddy who are flying in via Paris on New Year's Day.

Thursday 21-12-06

Just received an update from Hugh including some nice photographs. He has now crossed the Atlas mountains and is heading off into the Sahara.


more news can be found in Updates... , Press Clippings and a special on Leaving Kilkenny