On Getting a Postcard
Today I got a postcard, not any old post card from a standard holiday destination, but a postcard from Timbuktu.
Not many people get a postcard from Timbuktu in Mali mostly because you have to be seriously deranged to actually travel there. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to.
Going to Timbuktu
Going to Timbuktu means going to the ends of the earth. Its mysterious, romantic, inaccessible and remote . On the edge of the Sahara its the oldest city in Africa, the spiritual and intellectual centre of Islam on the continent.
Its hot and dry all year, in the summer the temperature reaches 40 ° F and in the winter it never goes below 30° when the Harmattan trade wind blows sand into everything.
I would happily put up with this to see the Djinguereber Mosque which is made entirely of mud and is of course a UNESCO World heritage site.
However there is worse.
In 2008 Al Qaeda began kidnapping tourists and in 2012 many religious buildings were destroyed during rebel occupation. The kidnapping goes on and the Foreign and Commonwealth office advises against all travel to Mali. This means your travel insurance is invalid. I think I would be a very bad kidnap victim, I cant sit still or shut up and at my age insurance is very necessary.
So we won’t go.
But back to the postcard now sitting proudly on my mantle piece.
There is a guy called Phil living in Mali who arranges for postcards to be sent from Timbuktu post office. For ten dollars you get your message written out by an unemployed tour guide and sent to you. I hope one day it will be safe to visit and maybe if I was younger I could wait for this to happen but for now the postcard is great.
As you can see my daughter made her feelings clear!