Filed Under (General) by Rob on 25-03-2010

This photo was taken a couple of miles from the famous Dogon Cliffs in Mali – my first ever experience of inland sand dunes!

Of course, this part of Mali is not that far from the Sahara Desert and the Dogon Plain is almost entirely composed of sand. The dunes themselves stretch a few miles, almost parallel to the cliffs. Recently, a project has planted more vegetation on the dunes, in order to stabilize and protect them. Then, hopefully, it may be possible to cultivate crops here in years to come.

Of course, one knows one is near the desert when one catches sight of one of these:

Ship ahoy! And that’s the only ship I’m gonna see this far from the ocean!! On the Dogon Plain, camels and donkeys are often used to pull water up from wells; the water table there is so low (up to 80m below) that pulling the container up by hand would be just too slow – and you’d almost sweat off as much water doing so!!!

Which reminds me of Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, where a slightly more elaborate system sees a donkey pulling up water from the well in a kind of ‘giant mouse wheel’. Can’t see that catching on here…

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