"Here I am, sitting in a police office again"That's what I thought when I went into the big police building here in Ouaga. The story started like this, last sunday Anita and me split up in Segou, Mali. She was driving with 2 other overlanders towards the Dogon country, as it is so beautifull she couldn't miss it, and I would go to Ouaga, Burkina, to get my visa for Ghana and do some work on the bike. Nothing set in concrete, just 'we'll meet up in a few days to a week, I'll call you'.
But already the first night in Bobo, Burkina, I couldn't call her with my Malian number and also with a new Burkinabe number I had no luck in contacting her. The following days I sent her some e-mails, but I was well aware that in Dogon country, there is no internet and in big parts, no telephone reception. So, by thursday, I started to get a little nervous. I had no contact details for Thomas or Matias, with who she was traveling, and I knew the piste from Dogon to the border is hardgoing, because I did that track last year.
So by friday afternoon all sorts of scenarios were playing in my head, especialy since I knew this was the last day her visa for Burkina was valid, she had to cross today. I felt I needed to do something, so there I was, in the central police office, asking them to phone the border post to hear if they saw her pass. After a few phonecalls, they informed me that she had not crossed the border, and they would keep me informed if she turned up.
Back in the auberge, Guillaume, the owner and also a biker, called his contacts in the Dogon, and found out she had been spotted on wednesday, together with the two others, this was a huge relieve, but the big surprise came one hour later, when my phone rang and it was Anita, saying she was at the border and she coudn't realy talk now, but she would be in Ouaga the next day. What had happened: turns out that with the troubles in Mali and with huge numbers of refugees coming into Burkina, there was actually a great amount of police and armed forces around the border, and they went out to search and found Anita camping in the bush near the border. How they found her so quick is a mistery, but I guess it's their job, right. It certainly must have been quiete scary, she on her own, somewhere in the bush, sudenly surrounded by police with machine guns, they took her to a safer place and let her call me on their phone. . Next day she arrived here by noon, telling me another chilling detail: on the way down, she hit a bump in the road too hard, and spun her car 360 degrees around. Too much information for me at that time and I was just very glad she was here safe and with me.