Look out, 'The Lonely Liar' was actually right!

Trip Start Dec 12, 2010
Trip End Dec 16, 2012

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Flag of Burkina Faso  ,
Monday, January 2, 2012

Forget about big ticket attractions in Burkina Faso. It has few iconic calling cards, so why does it win the hearts of travellers, the answer: the people. The burkinabe (people from Burkina Faso) are the country's greatest asset. They are disarmingly charming and easy going. Where you go you will be greeted with a memoriable 'Ca Va'. (Africa Lonely Planet, 2010)
As seasoned travellers, we have often looked to guide books for information, inspiration and often have become irritated with the Loney Liar (a name we often like to call guide books such as 'The Lonely Planet'). These guide books are out of date, and out of touch with the needs of a worldwide traveller. So when we read the Burkina Faso section of the 'African Lonely Liar', we were expecting limited information and over exaggeration.
Can you believe, 'The Lonely Liar' was actually right! Entering Burkina faso, we were welcomed by the friendly, inquisitive locals. Bobo-Dioulasso was our first stop, and we ventured into the town and were greeted by friendly locals, showing us the way to great street food.
Our time in Bobo-Dioulasso didn't disappoint as we strolled through the market, where Shaun was able to stop off for some drumming lessons, while Karen shopped for a traditional mask. We then headed to the amazing mud mosque, and felt a little bit better about missing the biggest mud mosque in Mali. It was even cool that Shaun was able to donate his half broken pluggers to a happy local boy. And where do you think we finished our first day in the relaxed town of Bobo-Dioulasso? Where else but a little local bar with smiling locals, where we were served a spicy, crispy, dried liver snack. Awesome, such a relaxed place. 'The Lonely Liar' was finally right!
Bobo-Dioulasso become more unforgetable when we went on a guided tour of the mud mosque and the old town. We got to see how the locals live, played with the local kids, tried the local millet beer and even had our own cost free music session, while admiring the skills of the musicians and the local kids dancing. It was amazing!!!! Once again the people were friendly. 'The Loney Liar' was actually right.
For New Year's eve, we headed to the Karfiguela Waterfalls. To get there was a little tricky as the only bridge was down, so we had to be taken on a detour, lead by who, but a friendly local. For our New Year's celebrations, we didn't expect local interaction, but who were kidding, this was Burkina Faso, and the locals were friendly and inquisitive. 'The Lonely Liar' was actually right.
So our New Year's Eve celebrations started with a game of cricket with the locals, a music session and lesson with the traditional drums and percussion instruments and an invitation by a local boy to visit his village the next day. Oh, and I must not forget, we did have lots of booze, but it was New Year's eve and we were in Burkina Faso, and it was winning our hearts. 'The Lonely Liar' was acutally right.
New Year's day was full of relaxing in the beautiful pools of the Karfiguela Waterfalls. We even got to shower and shampoo our hair in the falls, which was a luxury after endless days of bush camping. The surrounding environment was amazing, and to think not that many years ago, we hadn't really heard of the friendly country of Burkina Faso.
Like 'The Lonely Liar', the young boy named Abdul didn't lie to us, and came looking for us and a couple of our friends to have our promised tour of his village. We asked how much it would cost, and straight away he said no payment. So off we went with Abdul, a 19 year old, friendly Burkinabe local, who was teaching himself English, and thought that it would be good to take us into his little village.
As we entered Abdul's village, we were greeted with the typical West African handshake (a side five, followed by a hand shake and a click of the fingers). We didn't know how the locals would feel about four white strangers entering their village with cameras and amazed faces. But 'The Lonely Liar' was right again, big smiles and a big ca va was what we got.
We got to see the local girls getting their hair done for the evening village party, we got to see how simple the little huts were inside and learnt that it only takes about two weeks for a simple mud hut's construction, from dirt and grass to completion. We even got to see the movie advertised that was going to be screened that evening on a tiny 34cm television for over 100 people. It was such an amazing, unforgettable experience. And the best thing was that it was in no way a touristy experience. The fact was, a local boy was able to speak English and was eager to communicate with us, and kindly opened his village to our eyes, ears and cameras without any fee involved. We were speechless. And what could we do, but give him a small French/English dictionary as a gift so that he could continue to learn our language.
Abdul was so pleased with his new book, and new friends, that he invited some of the group back to his village that night to join the village party. Shaun jumped at the chance to party, Burkina Faso style. The party was awesome. Abdul dressed into his best hip hop outfit, to embrace the cool African hip hop music. At the party it was crazy. Imagine African ladies pulling out the crazy African dance moves, while a baby is strapped to their backs, fast asleep. Well, that is what we saw. So we retaliated, pulling out the most corny Western dance moves we could think of, like the 'hillbilly', the 'sprinkler', and the 'shopping cart'. When we left the party, Abdul grabbed Shaun and Zach's hands, symbolising they were now like his brothers. Amazing!!!
In Burkina Faso, not only were the locals friendly, but so were the crocodiles at Bazoule Crocodile park. At this crocodile reserve where the crocodiles were sacred to the locals, we were able to get up close and personal with the crocodiles and they didn't bite. We fed them chicken and they still didn't bite, we even sat on them and no crocodile bite. Awesome hey, not like the crocs in Aus.
Off to the capital Ouagadougou, and we were in love with Burkina Faso and its people, 'The Lonely Liar' was right. Ouagadougou surprisingly showed aspects of a modern city, had great street food, markets and local bars and once again had friendly locals.
So in a nutshell, like 'The Lonely Liar' had hinted, we loved Burkina Faso!!! The scenary was great, the markets were cool, the music was groovy and the food made us full. But the people, oh the people, they were amazing, so friendly, so welcoming. Overall the people were Burkina Faso's greatest asset. Look out, 'The Lonely Liar' was actually right!!! Burkina Faso will be remembered as one of our top five countries of all time!
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