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Christmas of 1996 found us cycling around the West African country of Mali. Our intention was to cycle the main (paved) road to Mopti, but as usual, our plans didn't work out that way. Our map showed a dirt road cutting through the desert, so off we went! At first the road was a nice, flat, hard-packed road, but it didn't take long for it to degenerate into something not so nice. Eventually, it disappeared altogether and we pedaled along a 12-inch path through the desert, continually wondering if we were headed in the right direction or not. Our inquiries always led to yet another finger pointing in the same direction, so we followed the pointing fingers until we arrived, after a week or so, into Djenne.