July 15, 2011

Rock Climing in Siby

A tollbooth on the road to Siby

This past weekend we ran away from the noise, hustle & bustle, and pollution of the city and we spent Saturday afternoon in Siby, a village about 45minutes outside of Bamako, known for its endless mango groves and Shea butter.

Hanging out by the market

Driving into the town we passed through a lively market place, flanked on both sides by row after row of fluffy picture perfect mango trees.

We stopped at the Shea butter cooperative to stock up on soaps and lotions and I even bought a cute tote bag made of the Shea butter cooperative's fabric.

Then we walked next door to grab our gear to go climbing!

Our way up the mountain was interrupted by a herd of cows sharing the road with us, so we had to wait for them to get out of the way before we could go by..

Baby cows!

But  the extra few minutes gave us some time to soak in the amazing view.

 Then we turned off a dirt road onto another dirt "road" (which was essentially just an upward slanting pile of rocks. And slowly crawled our way up to the cliffs.

I'm holding my camera straight.
That was the angle at which we were driving up the mountain.

 I used to go rock climbing all the time in France when I was a kid, but it's probably been about ten years since I last went. But apparently my muscle memory served me well because after just one time being harnessed in by the guide I started tying all my own knots and planning my own route up the facade.

Getting harnessed in!

We did four different climbs, and I made it to the top of every one, which given how un-sport I am, was quite an accomplishment!

Warming up.
That climb was way harder than it looked!

Shahla surveying her climb

And rappelling down!

And climbing back up!

The view from the top of the third climb.

Patrick taking a break halfway up

Getting the hang of it

Shahla is almost at the top!

Victory pose!

View from the top!

Patrick rappelling down.
 On the last climb (the hardest), I went up as quickly as the guide who clipped in the rope!

Me at the top

The view of the arch from the top of the hightest climb.

But I certainly paid for my hubris with a full body of sore muscles the next day.

Mud walls in Siby

Remnants of Colonialism.

Shea Butter huts

By the time we got down the mountain (on something that wasn't even close to being a road--more like a giant pile of rocks) a storm was brewing, and it thunderstormed all the way back to Bamako while I dozed off in the car.

A brewing storm

p.s. This whole day of rock climbing cost me about $12.


cscott02 said...

I just joined Lady Blogger! This is my first tea party. Your blog is beautiful; I just love travel blogs. I've always wanted to go to Africa. Is it everything you imagined?

Classy Career Girl said...

that rock climbing looks amazing! Good job! I can't believe it was only $12!