the Bamako Challenge – a race through Sahara

I have a dream. A plan. A few obstacles.

I want to do the Timbuktu challenge to Bamako.
First of all, I need a partner. Second, I need a car. I would prefer a four wheel driven with some sort of space where one can sleep, either inside or outside the car. A roof tent is a good option. This is my first obstacle. The car must be donated to the Rotary Club Control Committee in Mali.
I don’t want to spend a half fortune on a car when I have to give it away after the race, not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t afford to.
My second obstacle is the cost. Petrol to get me all the way from Sweden to Bamako. Where will I find funding covering that?

It is a dream that today seems quite far away.

Why do I want to do it?
I want the challenge. I want the desert sand underneath my clothes and the heat from the sun burning my skin. I want the sweat the lack of water and food. I want the excitement in driving through the desert, everything looking the same and the uncertainness of not really knowing if we’re on the right way. I want the compass and the map and disillusion.

I want the people. I want to meet the people that live along the roads we will drive. I want to know who they are, how they live and what they think about life. I want to have their point of view on living and breathing, on day to day life. I want to ask them about what’s important, about war and civil war. I want to ask them about military and history and today. I want to ask them about politics, school, love, marriage and children.
I want to show the world who they are.

I want the culture shock. I want the language barrier and the traditions. I want the bitter tea with tons of sugar and the smiles. I want the children climbing the car asking for a penny. I want to feel the panic when everything turns out to be totally different and even more shocking from what I expected. I want the scarf tied tight around my head. I want all my expectations to be turned up side down. I want the surprises.

I want to develop. I want to realize that all the travel blogs I read before I left were only their experiences, and that mine can’t compare to that. I want to realize that traveling always has been and always will be what you make it. I want to realize that the world is not as bad as it seem to be when I look at it from a distance. I want to see that life can be good and that everyone doesn’t just destroy, but also create, even in countries run by military dictators. Especially in times like these we live in today.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s