My second or third day in Banfora began when the roosters started crowing. I showered and headed out in search of coffee. The main, central restaurant here is McDonald's...that is, a local restaurant with the name but which otherwise bears no similarities to the chain. I went there, as i had had a yummy vegetable couscous the previous day, but it was closed.
After that, Djubrie, my guide, picked me up on the moto and we headed for the country. I'm getting more comfortable with the no helmet thing, but it doesn't help that the distance markers on the highway are shaped like cemetery headstones.
We had to stop for the police a couple of times to show ID. Apparently this is a recent thing. This area of Burkina Faso is currently in the "orange zone", meaning that there is some additional threat of violence. A girl i met in Bobo Dioulasso was there working for an NGO and wanted to go to Banfora but was not allowed to go because of the potential for violence. But nothing here seems threatening to me.
We stopped at a village on the way where my guide knew the people. I was shown around. There were women preparing bissap flowers for boiling to make juice, women pounding rice with big wooden poles to separate the husks and then sifting then to get at the rice. Men shelling peanuts. Children chasing chickens and staring at me with curiosity. I learned that the women live in the round huts and men in the square ones. (I don't know how this plays out for married couples.) Unlike other villages i have been to, there was no electricity. Lots of goats and a few sheep. They were kind enough to let me try my hand at rice pounding and to take some photos snd one man filled my bag with fresh peanuts before we left.
We carried on. It was about an hour or so to the peaks, diverting down a dirt road under a canopy of trees.
When we arrived we were the only ones there. It was majestic and peaceful, hiking through the wind worn rock towers.
Climbing up we had a terrific view of the green valley.
After that we went to a little camp of huts and a lunch of cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions was prepared. We ate and i relaxed in a hammock with a cigar, watching chickens and goats and children playing with sticks and hoops. Very peaceful.
We then rode back to Banfora, stopping at another village where my guide had some family. I sat with some old men, smiling and not able to communicate (they spoke only Moore), while my guide tended to some business. Then we were on our way again.
Back at the house i slept then ventured out into the dark streets in search of dinner. Rice with peanut sauce. The streets were busy with traffic, women still selling fruits and vegetables and every roadside shack had a fire going, with meat and fish set to grill. I spent the rest of the evening at the house, relaxing under the stars with a book.