Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Back, after the Malian Festivals ...

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Wednesday, April 19 2006

1 year, 8 month, 28 days

Vienna, Austria

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Land Rover 47,032km

Trekking 305km

Ferry 694km

Train 150km

Other cars 5.336km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > europe > austria > 20060419-vienna

Bamako, the time of the festivals is over.

Niger River 5th of Feb sunset.
Detail.
Niger River 5th of Feb sunset.
Niger River.
Niger River 5th of Feb sunset.
Hazy sunset.
Niger River sunset and pirogue.
Hasna has captured this one/different day.

5th of Feb, Segou's festival sur le Niger is closing with a slightly hazy sunset. Still all that music and the impressions of those past days on my mind Hasna and I drive to Bamako, organise a Visa and flights.

We then spend another week in Segou, before saying Good Bye to Nico and Julie finally. Hard, but we have a plan to meet again in Africa before July. Friends will be friends.

In Bamako we meet Peter Klein, the Austrian honorary consul. In Africa for the last 26 years he has seen them all coming and going. He's the one who managed to stay on and survive. But he cannot leave, can't get loose from (the drug) Africa. "You either hate it (leave while crying), or you love it. I belong to the second species - unfortunately."

Unfortunately because Africa is constantly trying to take it back from you. You can make a lot, it lets you do anything, but to reap the benefits, take the money and leave is not something accomplished easily. "I had a 12% stake in a furniture company in Ivory Coast. It burnt for a week and a half, was all on TV."

But Peter Klein is a survivor and a knowledgeable expert of governments' and business practices in West Africa. He has made a name for himself aiding at liberating hostages in Algeria (he knows all the local officials), and (even more recently 2005) aiding evacuating Austrians in civil war stricken Ivory Coast.

"I stayed more then a week in that big deserted hotel. The shooting raged outside. Two Belgians tried to persuade me to come with them to the airport, I declined. They are still missing today". He gathered all fruits he could find and hid under the ceiling of a toilet. "Just went down to pee."

I like Bamako

"Bamako is a bordel" Fodil (back in Senegal) has explained us (he wanted to say mess/when the French say bordel they have mess on their mind), "like India" he added and he knows India well, spends 3 months there every year, for the last how-many years. "If India will be like Bamako I am going to love India" I conclude for myself.

Bamako has everything from luxury villas, fancy restaurants with wifi access, Lebanese fast food joints, to tumultuous markets, vast, chaotic, unorganised it seems, messy, smelly canals and you can only wonder what it'll be like during the rainy season when the water does not flow through because of the rubbish that has been accumulated. (But maybe they clean away the rubbish just before it starts raining in July).

I should be back by then.

But most important Bamako has extremely friendly, peaceful people. Mali is a no-crime zone, we know.

It is here in Bamako where I realise that despite what everyone says development is taking place, has had an impact already. There is a large (this is relative) number of educated people, computer literacy, universities, a respectable street network with traffic lights that work, banks, travel agencies, mobile phones, (LAN) internet cafés, .... The future for Africa is not so dark (but I have always been thinking this).

Muslim demonstration aginst Danish caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.
Demonstration in Segou against the.
Muslim demonstration aginst Danish caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.
Danish caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.
Overloaded Bus, Road Bamako to Segou.
Overloaded Bus, Road Bamako to Segou.

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Vienna 26th of Feb

Via Tunis (a great, relaxed town with an enormous souk covering all the surroundings of the big mosque in the old town city centre, and we stay away from touristy beaches that Tunisia is so famouse for) we fly to Vienna on 25th of February. I have been in Africa roughly a year. And - I feel I have inhaled enough African air, - I got hooked by Africa, I want to return asap.

But for the moment here is a lot of work to be done. More then 5.000 photos (Essakane to Segou) are there, most of which I have not had more then a glance at yet. Cameras and lenses need cleaning. The auto focus stopped working many times during the festival in Segou. And the CCDs (digital imaging censors) inside the S3s have spots all over them.

It'll take me a while to digitally clean all those images as well.

And I need to buy some more hard disk drive (HDD) space.

So this is Vienna for me. Hasna decides to leave me soon for her relatives in Paris.

And I am still curious whether she will return, and we retake to the road together.

Vienna 07th of March. Ali Farka Toure has died.

Ali Farka Toure, Mali's most prominent musician has died. Just weeks back from Mali, this mornings news strikes particularly. I have been late by just a year, as he had played the Segou Festival sur le Niger on its first edition in 2005. Markus James who we saw in Essakane at the Festival au Désert, near Niafunke, Toure's hometown, writes an obituary remembering Ali.

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Vienna, 19th of April

I have pretty much finished the festival pages and reworked the whole site. Still I have improvements on my mind, but maybe I keep them for a later point in time (such as Christmas in Ghana).

For now it is really enough, I sat on a desk for way too long, I am longing to go back to Africa.

So I will organise what I want to take with me (spares, tools, HDD, electronics), buy a van/bus/transporter and drive back down to Bamako, where I have left the Land Rover.

Vienna, 07th of May

Hasna has rejoined me here in Vienna (after some 2 month in Paris).

We have decided to redo the FabTrek together, or better, now the FabTrek show is gonna be staged by two, a man and a woman, a Christian and a Muslim, a European and an African.

Hmmmm - so this becomes this.

That's me turns to That's us

Let's see how that works out.

Stay tuned.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > europe > austria > 20060419-vienna

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