Have you ever heard of a town called Kenieba? No? Well I am not surprised at all because we had the bad luck to stumble on it while entering Mali. Kenieba is actually the first Malian town after the border with Senegal. We had the bad luck to stop there because there was no bus to Bamako until the following morning.
Now the hard task to describe this town: a tiny fruit stall on the road, several motorbike garage and accessories shops(motorbikes are the most common mean of transport here), a small bank withouth ATM, 3 small restaurants, 2 mini market, a polluted steam which is a sort of local mosquitos "breeding oasis" and 3 small Auberge. We had lunch and dinner at the Falema Auberge cafeteria and I must recognize that the food was good and inexpensive, but the rooms absolutely overpriced, they asked us an outrageous 20000CFA(30 euro) for a very poor room without toilet and obviously we declined. We spent a long, hot and boring afternoon between the minimarket and the Bus station where we got friends with several friendly locals working at the Bus counter. They suggested us some Malian Highlights such as Djenne, Mopti and the Dogon villages, Gao and Kidal other than the famous Tomboctou. They also suggested that we spend the night by a couple of small Campement, cheap and where " you can enjoy some girls presence...". We headed there just to discover 2 shabby, dirty, gloomy small nigerian run 'Nigerians are a very bad reputation in West Africa) in accommodation where a score of "unattractive" professional women where having their poor lunch. The maitress shouted to force a client to exit the "toilet" and if we could be so crazy to sleep there this last disgusting show made us runaway fast. By the way there was no tap water in Kenieba during the last 3 days and we have been told that it is more uncommon when water is running. We resolved to accept our friends invitation to unroll a straw carpet, that they lent us, and sleep a la belle etoile until 5am, time of Bus departure.
Pity I could not sleep almost at all because the ferocious local mosquitoes were partying with my Toubab blood, because in the night other desperate travellers were joining us finding theyr place near my feet and because the waiting square was strategically chosen just in front of the Bus Station toilet which means a continuous cloud of disgusting smells brought by the night breeze.