After spending the previous evening researching Burkinabe bus companies in our woefully outdated guidebook, I decided Sogebaf (pronounced “So-jeh-boff) looked like our best bet for traveling to the west of the country. We bargain with a taxi driver to take us to the station (my French is rapidly improving) and as soon as we arrive I regret my choice. “I am so sorry, Lauren,” I moan. “Don’t apologize, this is AWESOME!” Lauren replies.
The bus station is full of run-down, broken-down, just plain down-and-out buses, covered in dust and cobwebs. The waiting area looks like a scene out of an old Western movie, with old furniture piled up in corners and a cobweb-draped disused ceiling fan and worn wooden benches under the shade. The one mini-bus that looks with it is working must is ours, and is being loaded with everyone’s cargo, from bicycles to baskets to bags of rice to mopeds. Our bags are loaded on as well, much to our excitement.
The ride to Bobo, our rest place for the night, is long but bearable, with a pleasing mix of reggae and Indian-inspired music blaring the whole way. We find our next guesthouse, Le Zion, without a problem, and spend a peaceful evening eating lasagna under the mango tree. There are birds and lizards living in our ceiling, but when we don’t bother them, they don’t bother us.