Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Me, Myself and I

Elisabet the Swedish film maker and Henri the French cameraman have left. I have spent ten days talking nonstop about me, myself and I. I have felt  slightly embarrassed, somewhat non-plussed but  hugely flattered nevertheless  that Elisabet thinks people actually want to hear about my life... Above Elisabet and I with their driver and ‘fixer’ in the lovely village of Sirimo last week, where I took the opportunity to pop in to see the new Dugutige (village chief)since the one I knew had passed away.

 Meanwhile a kindly providence have sent along some interesting people to the hotel who have featured as extras and we have sat under the stars talking and laughing just like the old days. There was Jay from the UK who later was kind enough to write a 5 star Trip Advisor report- see below. We shared the Havana cigar I was given in Timbuktu by the Lebanese Head of Security and puffed away happily until the light burned low in the storm lights.

There was also a large influx of Americans from the US Embassy here although sadly we were not allowed to film them of course.  An excited rumour spread rapidly amongst the Djenné guides that they were all from the CIA. Well, be that as it may, it was fun- the group was made up of several American types that seemed to step straight out of Hollywood: the GI with a crew cut who replied ‘Yes Maam!’to everything I said; the fabulous, gravel-voiced  J who  referred to  himself as a  ‘consultant’ which in his case we took to mean some sort of high level mercenary.  He preferred to stay put rather than go sight-seeing and  entertained  me and Elisabet with tales of  Liberia. There were also four Malian soldiers- specially trained by the Americans - who took turns with some of their American colleagues to patrol the hotel and garden during the night, fully armed. There is no doubt that the hotel has never been so secure.

And then, when the Americans had left, just as a cherry on the cake, along came Mirella, an Italian lady who was travelling around Mali with a guide and driver. Mirella owned a two hundred year old Trattoria in Venice with her brothers. Their restaurant is famous for its meat balls.

From left: Henri the talented and lovely cameraman, Jay, the intrepid English tourist who travels on local buses, Elisabet, Mamadou the fixer and Boubakar the driver.

Below Jay's Trip Advisor Review:

“The Oasis in Djenné”
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW   

I spent 3 nights at this fantastic hotel and was one of the highlights of an amazing trip to Mali. This is the best hotel in Mali!
Sophie and her staff are always on hand to make for a perfect stay.
When coming to Djenné this is the only choice you should make, a short walk from the centre of town which makes it an oasis of calm away from the bustle of the centre and the perfect spot for the signature Djenné Djenno cocktail on the roof terrace with views across to the grand mosque !
This is probably the only real place for a tourist to eat in the whole of Djenné at the moment, but this isn't a problem because all of the food is delicious including bread and locally made jams for breakfast that Paris would be proud of. The evening three course dinners were all delightful. All washed down with great conversation and a glass of red wine.
If you are reading this you must be interested in Mali. Do not be put of by the troubles in other areas which are far, far away to the north and east. There has never been any troubles in Djenne or at the equally stunning dogan country, do not miss the oputurnity to experience this amazing travel adventure and when you do, Djenné Djenno is an absolute must. Go now !
Many thanks to Sophie and her fantastic team !
Stayed March 2017, travelled solo


Blogger Tabor said...

I went to the travel sight and saw the photos. Definitely something out of Hemingway.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth F said...

I am so eager to see this documentary about you, it will be great!

9:45 AM  

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