Thursday, March 14, 2013

The 3 B's - Beauty, Burkina, Banfora

After having three groups come and stay back to back and a large gift distribution to plan, shop for and hold we were ready for a little rest. We decided to take a family vacation to Banfora which is an 8 hour drive to the southwest region of Burkina.

We made no reservations, just packed up the car and went. We reached Banfora in the late afternoon and the place we were planning to stay had no rooms available. We proceeded to three other establishments until we found a place to stay. Apparently there is a lot of construction in the area and the hotels are chock full of workers! Anyhow we were very happy with our hotel which had a pool and air conditioning...what more do you need when outside temps are 105 degrees?

The next morning we had breakfast at a place called relation to the fast food chain (there are no fast food chains in all of Burkina). It was an interesting place loaded with paintings all done by a local artist and good food choices. I had Cafe au Lait and French Toast topped with Mango Jam...yum! As you can see from the sign and numerous signs throughout Banfora, this town loves Disney. We counted over 15 paintings of Mickey and his friends!

We bought picnic supplies and headed out to find the famous Domes. We took no guide with us...we just followed general directions given in a guide book, stopped and asked local people, made a few wrong turns...but that's all part of the adventure. We never would have come across these strange items (elephant eggs?) if we had a guide.

Finally at the Domes! We did a lot of hiking, climbing, scrambling around on these odd geological rock formations. The only other place to have formations like these is in Australia. We swear that Mike found a lion paw print in the sand, but we never saw any animals while we were there.

After the Domes we left to find the Cascades. Again, we made many u-turns and complete circles driving through fields of sugarcane until we found the entrance. There was much climbing to different levels where each view was more spectacular than the last. We cooled off in pools of rushing water. It was a great time.

The following day we set out to find the Hippo Lake in Tengrela. We didn't think we were going to find this one, but we persevered and what should have been a 20 minute drive was over an hour until we found our destination. So glad we stuck it out because this was definitely another highlight of our trip. Our guide helped us into a wooden boat which we had to bail water out of first and then paddled us out onto the peaceful lake full of lily pads. He told us there were about 30 hippos living in two herds. We continued across the lake and then spotted them. About 15 hippos swimming in the water. Very cool! Afterwards our guide made necklaces and crowns for us from the flowers in the lake.

We had a very relaxing and fun adventure together that we will never forget!

1 comment:

  1. I love it!! I would have loved to seen real hippos, I would have been deathly afraid. But I think a lily chain crown would make me feel invincible. lol