It was not easy to find a good place to cross this muddy river. But both cars did it finally without getting stuck in the mud.
Except to cross this river, we also crossed the Malinese-Mauritanian border without seeing any Malinese borderpost or police-station.
After a few KMs we reached the next village. It was Ouid Yenjé, the Mauritanian borderpost.
In the village people said ''vous êtes in Mauritanie'' and asked us to come to the police-station for the formalities.
About almost seven hours after we left Kayes we reached a muddy river, which we had to cross.
Boys and girls were washing and bathing in the river, but couldn't tell us properly in French where we were and how far Mauritania still would be from here. They just pointed at the other side.
What we didn't know at that moment, that this was probably the border river
Further north the tracks became more sandy than the ones more south near Kayes. Also the vegetation changed. I liked this part of the route and the fact to drive there, like being alone on the planet for a while.
It was not always easy which track to chose. Most of the times the tracks came together again after a few 100 Ms, but sometimes they didn't. I think that's the reason, we took a track, which led more to the west than planned, at a certain moment and spot.
After another hour and almost seven hours away from Kayes, we still didn't reach a borderpost at the Mauritanian border, but we entered the next Malinese village.
In the centre of the village we encountered a local village scene with donkeys, carts, firewood, playing kids and older men sitting in the shade.
We found out, we took more western tracks than planned, but also at the westside was the Mauritanian border, so once we had to reach it.
After crossing the river, we drove for a long time in dry and dusty plains. From far we saw a large mosque in pastel colours at the edge of a small village. Many mosques in this region have two towers or minarets or sometimes even four.
The track was leading around the village at some distance this time.
The man who guided us out of the village showed us the place where we could cross the water before he went back to the village. At the other side of the water we should catch again the right track to Mauritania, he told.
At the place of the rivercrossing we saw a lot of cows with their spectacular wide horns and a lonely camel, standing in the water and drinking.
All the way from Kayes this was the first time we saw water !
On our way out of the village we reached a river or pond. It was very scenic with lots of water-lillies in it
At the riverbank we saw a concrete draw-well. We were surprised to see suddenly this very lifely place with boys and men fetching water. For the tranportation of the water they used donkey carts with huge blue plastic containers on it.
It was easy to find the central place of the village, but from here alleyways were leading in different directions. And during the whole route from Kayes to the north to the Mauritanian border you will not find any sign to show you the way.
So we had to asked somebody in the village about the next track in the direction of the Mauritanian border. Because it was not easy to explain, the man joined us on our way out of the village.
At first sight it looked like it would not be easy to find you way in the tangle of alleyways in the village. But we found out, that the incoming track led to the central place of the village.
At this dusty place we made a stop. Lots of people gathered here, approached our car, looked at us and were very curious to know who we were and where we came from. Especially the kids asked us these questions, if speaking French, sometimes translating it for elder people.
Some of the villages we crossed, looked very scenic with the narrow alleyways between the yellow ochre coloured mud walls of the houses or around the compounds. The mosque in this village had red, green and white colours with a wall around the court in yellow and red.
It looked like the times had not changed in those villages for decades or even centuries.
Sometimes the track we followed, led into the narrow alleyways of a village. It gave sometimes a strange feeling, that we could enter so easily the intimity of such a village and the local life of its inhabitants.
Luckily the people reacted friendly, allthough we had sometimes the feeling to disturb their daily life by crossing their village with our 4 WDs, being total strangers.
After we passed the mosque, we followed the wide track through the village. Except a mosque as landmark at one side of the village, the village has also a watertower as landmark at the other side.
The atmosphere in the village was very rural. A herd of sheep was coming in our direction at the dusty track at the moment we crossed the place. Around some compounds we saw fences of wooden sticks.
Most people of the nomadic tribes of the Fulani, Soninke and Black Moor in the area north of Kayes are muslim. In the villages we saw often mosques, even large ones, like this one at the picture.
There are hardly any christians in this part of Mali. Because in the eyes of muslims Jesus is a prophet with a great healing power, I heard the handful of christians north of Kayes goes by the name of 'followers of Jesus' instead of christians.
In the same village, where we met the women at the waterpump, we saw beautifully constructed and shaped buildings of red adobe architecture.
In front of the buildings, in the shade of a large tree, we saw a wooden bed. It 's the place where usually the elder men gather, but at the moment we passed there was nobody around.
At the edge of the village we saw a lot of women, beautifully dressed in their colourful African dresses. They gathered around the waterpump, fetching water for their families and households .
After driving for a long time through the barren and almost empty landscape we were surprised to see suddenly so many people. Maybe they were even more surprised to see us, coming from nowhere and going to nowhere.