Some time has now passed since my last footsteps in Africa yet the one man travel plan lives on as I try to write up my experiences and hone my travel writing talents with the aim of publishing and funding more odessies of curiosity.

As well as the writing side I am organsing exhibitions of photgraphs and paintings from my trip, partly for their asthetic beauty and partly so I can share and hopefully inform people about some lesser known parts of the world.

And then there is always the next trip... the journey never ends.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Somewhere on the mighty Niger River is a floating ethereal world of dreams

The river is a kind of khaki green while an angle of the waves catches the bright blue and light of the sky resulting in a pleasing mix of colours and light.

The view as I lie on sacks of grain and gaze out is bizarre , all water and sky with a thin strip of land floating dramatically in space. This water level perspective, a ducks eye view if you will is not one I'm used to.

Small details take on significance, a tree or a goat become singled out against the enormity of sky and water. In this space the humble goat is dramatised, given dignity his life made epic. Cows swishing their tails and rocking there heads back and forth languidly look striking
against a big blue sky. The smiling faces and waving hands of friendly villagers and excited kids shouting Toubab! Toubaboo! ( Toubab being the local phrase for foreigner ) Are like actors on a big blue stage, the bank, trees and huts like props to their lives which shine from this the strangest of perspectives.

The landscape is shining, ethereal and full of the exotic and timeless. Everything slides by like watching memories, as if time itself has been covered in treacle so as to slow things down and take the edge of reality. The movement so slow, the sights so unfamiliar I am convinced I am dreaming. If I saw a unicorn standing proud on the bank I wouldn't be surprised.

This cant possibly be real, floating past hippos and nomad villages is surely the stuff of dreams. I'll wake soon to a dreary wet day and go to dreary wet work to pay for a dreary wet life. But the dream goes on and on, time stretching out like the river, long winding and endless. I shake my head in disbelief at how lucky I am, how big the world is and how beautiful.